“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
It is hard to keep the animals in the fence if the gate is open. People who have cared for animals know that an animal is always trying to find a gateway to get out of the fence. Next door to my church are three Chihuahua dogs that seem to always be in the church parking lot. One morning when I arrived at the church office, I saw the neighbor’s dogs in our parking lot, so I tried to chase them back into the neighbor’s yard. What I discovered was a small hole in his fence where the dogs were getting out. Those dogs would never get out of the fence if the hole in the fence was patched so it wouldn’t be a gateway for their escape.
Likewise, you will never conquer sin in your life as long as you leave the gate for the flesh open. The verse above says, “…and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” In other words, God is saying to close the gate to the flesh, and you won’t have a problem with sin. The only time you have a problem with sin is when you leave the gate open. The word “provision” means to supply or to feed. You can easily close the gate to sin reigning in your life if you will stop feeding the flesh. It is not real difficult to overcome sin. If you stop feeding the flesh and start feeding the spiritual, you will find that the flesh will die and Christ can reign through you. Let me give you two suggestions on how to close the gate to sin.
First, don’t look negatively at the fence line of standards. One of the reasons many people continue to succumb to sin is because they despise the rules that it takes to keep people from sin. Rules are a part of life, and those rules in the Christian walk are there to keep you from sin. In other words, those rules are closing the gate so sin cannot get in. You must have rules, boundaries and limitations set up in your life to keep you from the people, places, or things that feed your flesh. If you stopped fighting the boundaries set up in your life that are there to keep you from sin and started embracing them as wall of safety, you would find it much easier to keep the gate of sin closed.
Second, patch the holes where you allow sin to feed your flesh. Just like those dogs by my church found a hole in the fence, sin is also trying to find a hole in your character to get through to you so that you partake of it over and over again. Sadly, too many people have the gate closed to sin, but they have a hole in their spiritual fence to which they run every time they want to feed their flesh. You cannot feed the flesh at all. If you are going to overcome sin and the flesh, you are going to have to stop any supply chain you have that feeds your flesh. I’m afraid many believers like the feeling of satisfying the flesh, and they keep the hole in their character open so they can get the feeling the comes from feeding the flesh. The problem with feeding the flesh is that you feel guilty every time you do it. If you are saved, there is nothing you can do to remove the guilt from feeding the flesh because that guilt is the Holy Spirit’s conviction.
Let me ask you; do you really want to overcome your sin? If you do, you must stop making provision for the flesh. You are going to have to set up rules in your life and get rid of the triggers that feed your flesh so that you can close the gate to sin. You know where the gate is open. The question comes to how much you desire to close the gate. Closing the gate to sin is the only way to conquering sin.