Teach Your Flesh to Obey the Holy Spirit

By Chris Layton

October 2, 2019

It’s difficult to be disciplined but to bring our bodies into subjection to our spirit when there are so many things that go south on us, most tend to give up trying. The natural body becomes frail over time but the spirit within each of us has the innate desire for the peace, comfort, safety and well being we once enjoyed in the Father’s presence.

The natural man’s tendency is to substitute worldly things such as getting more money, advantage, and titles of recognition as a means to compensate for the opposition or even the loneliness he may feel in this world having been separated from his God. For the moment the praise or feelings of importance seems to fill what seems to be lacking. These are only artificial means of escape but they come at a heavy price because a lot of precious time while in our earthly schoolroom is being wasted. Our souls feel the need of nourishment so we indulge ourselves in things at times that may be detrimental to our spiritual or physical well being.

Over time, our bodies as well as our spirits become weaker and heavier and more sickly as we age if we don’t properly care for them. As we come to the later years of life we fill our lives with friends and family and all these things that bring about good feelings and short term happiness. Yet, these things bring us no closer in our journey to God. He is the true source of our eternal fulfillment, peace, and safety. He is the one whom we’re commanded to come to know so that we can abide in His presence when we finish our time here.

The Father and Son Relationship Between the Spirit and the Flesh:

The prophet Abinadi taught that God is both the Father and the Son (Mosiah 15:2) by the following definitions:

He said that His spirit is the Father or in other words, the teacher. He also said that His flesh is the Son or in other words, the student. The flesh and spirit he testified are two parts of the one and the same God even Jesus Christ who suffered hunger, thirst, pain, and fatigue having overcome the natural desires of the flesh. Jesus Christ gained the mastery over all these things and therefore he is our Lord, Master, Redeemer, and God. He’s our teacher.

“..the Father because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son- And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of Heaven and of Earth; and thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or (in other words) the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people” Mosiah 15:3-5

When He said to His disciples “take up your cross and come follow me” He said that we likewise must also discipline our earthly flesh to do the will of the Holy Spirit. Before this world was, our spirits which are eternal also desired to do the will of the Father.

Once we were placed into these earthly bodies, our fleshly appetites began to take control as we cried for our mommies to feed us and change us and hold us. We hungered for food and comfort, and we, for a time, let our physical bodies dictate but this was all done by the wisdom of a wise and loving Father and God to give us experience. He knew beforehand that we would have these fleshly appetites. All of this was for our good and learning so that we could learn in many varied lifetime circumstances how to control the yearnings of the flesh. We must keep all of our appetites within the bounds the Lord has set.

“He who seeks to save his life shall lose it and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it.”

If we lose our lives in service to God, we will fill the void in our lives and find the hidden treasures God has in store for us. These hidden treasures from the Father will bring to us fulfillment, joy, and ultimate gratitude to the Father for His goodness and mercy towards us.

If we discipline ourselves in the ways of Jesus Christ, the ways of righteousness, our physical bodies will respond to our pure desires and become subject to the will of the spirit so that no matter what happens to the body, our joy in Jesus Christ will be complete and we will have gained yet another talent.