How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

Salvation is a Struggle Against the Flesh.

The above story does not suggest that we never struggle with temptation or sin, because we do. That’s why Christianity is engaged in a war against sin. Instead of going along with sin we now are opposed to it. Not only is a Christian’s enemy the devil and the world, but his own flesh. It perhaps is the greatest opposition the believer experiences.

The Bible says our flesh will be the source of all temptation. Even when Satan is instigating the temptation, he uses the natural desires of our own human nature. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). It is this flesh that will oppose us every step of the way to Christ-likeness. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17).

What is the flesh? It is human nature—fallen human nature. It is the appetites, desires, propensities, and passions of the natural body and mind that promote self-glory rather than God’s glory. Before man sinned in the Garden of Eden, he was perfect in body, mind and spirit. But sin caused the corruption of every facet of man’s existence. All of his bodily appetites were enraged and grossly enlarged to want more than necessary and not submit to God’s plan for their fulfillment. The desires of the mind were perverted to become a bastion of self-centeredness. A man that is “natural” (meaning unconverted) can only choose based upon selfishness. All goals, ambitions and motivations are based upon the satisfaction of the flesh.