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  • Writer's pictureDaizha Lankford

Tug-Of-War: Faith vs. Flesh

Updated: May 28, 2019

As a believer in Christ, a self-proclaimed Lukewarm Christian (Improving might I add), and someone going through a season of trials… I am learning about the game of tug-of-war I play with my spirit on a daily basis.

Sometimes it’s little things.

I start reading my devotional that goes consistently, inconsistently read.

I start playing gospel music while I make my bed, and by the time I am getting dressed somehow, I’m listening to Cardi B.

I start praying because I feel stressed and overwhelmed and then five minutes later I am screaming “Shit” loudly for dropping my hairbrush on my foot.

But slowly these little things, these things that seem to not affect our journey, our belief in God, our spirit… they do.

We start to fight with ourselves about our internal desires and what God wants.

How can we not?

We live in a world where temptation is served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a side of hot biscuits every day.

The only problem is…

I cannot have my sin and my savior on the same platter.

They’re not for sharing.

As believers, as humans, as imperfect beings, we want our cake and the ability to eat it too.

We want God, eternal life, answered prayers, and forgiveness.

But we also want pleasure, satisfaction, and temporary highs.

That’s the problem.

Those temporary pleasures, they fade.

The parties, liquor, gratification, organization leadership positions, sex, it all fades.

And once they’re gone, we’re left with what? A feeling of emptiness and prayers to God to make life better.

A moment of satisfaction in return for an eternity of pain?

I don’t get it.

And, I used to get so mad at God.

I already said yes to him once. I said yes to believing in him, yes to trusting in him, yes to confessing my sins to him…

But God said, “Nah. It’s more than that. Every day you wake up you will have a cross to bear.”

But to be quite honest, most days… I don’t want it anymore.

I like the temporary pleasures in life.

I like listening to Sicko Mode while cussing out the person who cut me off in traffic.

But I hate displeasing God.

I like going to a party, so gone from the liquor that I can’t feel my feet, and throwing it back … (lemme stop)

But I hate displeasing God.

So where do we go from there?

Where does my love for God and my like for the things of the flesh intersect?

Where does my desire for God trump my desire for the world?

It’s not fair right?

God wants me to give up so many things, and I’m just not feeling it.

It’s painful losing my temporary pleasures.

Can’t he leave some parts of my life untouched?

But honestly, God is not the one tripping, we are.

Anything that I give up to follow God is not a loss!

Not money, clothes, significant others, degrees, or even jobs.

It’s easier said than done though.

We fight two strong forces every day.

But when the empty promises of sin set in, when the thrill is gone, when you realize that everything you’re really “gaining” is actually a loss… calling on God is all you got.

So, is the bottom of that cup quenching your thirst for happiness?

Is the blunt getting you so high, you can walk into heaven?

That boy, that girl…is he or she so good that they love you better than God?

That money, can it buy you freedom? Can it buy you grace?

Maybe y’all are sipping some heavenly Patron, or got blunts rolled from the hands of an angel… but those things fade.

And I’m no preacher, I’m struggling with the exact same thing. EVERYDAY!

But I realized during this intense game of tug-of-war, as I was watching each side get my attention. My flesh side led to chains…

But the side of my faith, my love for God, my savior…

It led to freedom.

So where are you at in life right now? Who’s got your attention? What fills you up temporarily and disappears after a moment? What’s your flesh’s deepest desire?

But most importantly…

Who’s winning your game of tug-of-war?

Peace & Love, D.

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