Updated: Feb 18
This Week's Scripture & Reflection: I Peter 2:11
Our fallen world is plagued by war: wars between countries, cities, and even neighborhoods. Often times, the wars we immediately think of are visible, ones that we can physically see as they take place. Conversely, there are wars that take place that we cannot see with our physical eyes. These are wars that occur in an unseen realm.
In today's passage, the apostle Peter instructs the Jewish and Gentile believers living as exiles across the inhabited world (cf. I Peter 1:1) to abstain from fleshly lusts, particularly noting that they wage war against the soul. Our souls comprise our mind, emotions, and will. By virtue of living in a fallen human body in a fallen world, we can passively yet actively corrupt our souls through the things we entertain via our eyes, ears, and entire bodies. By entertaining fleshly lusts, which by nature are impure, perverted, and idolatrous, we willingly invite these things to wage war against our souls, thus resulting in a lack of peace, stability, and ultimately, joy.
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we understand that we are in a perpetual fight against the flesh, so as to not carry out its desires so that we may ultimately please the Lord! Nevertheless, we tend to make this battle more difficult for ourselves than it has to be when we feed our souls with that which pleases our ungodly desires. By abstaining from these things, we protect our souls from unnecessary harm and torment. Furthermore, one of the primary yet undervalued ways we purify our souls is through reading, studying, and applying God's Word to our lives (cf. Psalm 119:9). Though it is easier said than done, it is not impossible to resist and abstain from fleshly lusts! The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead permanently resides in those of us who believe (cf. Romans 8:11), and He will empower us to do that which pleases the Lord and upsets our flesh!