I Want It Now!
One of my favorite movies growing up was, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Not the weird remake they did with Johnny Depp, but the original with Gene Wilder. In that movie there is a character named, Veruca Salt, who is a spoiled rich kid who is used to getting anything she wants the moment she wants it. Her famous line was, “I want it now!”
Veruca is a perfect example of our flesh. Flesh wants everything. Flesh wants everything right now. Flesh will NEVER be satisfied. The flesh of man cannot be satisfied. It is insatiable (Pr 17:24; 27:20; Eccl 1:8; 2:10-11; 5:10; 6:7). If we give it what it wants it will soon be demanding more. This is why people continually find themselves entrapped by addictions and bad habits that seemingly control their existence. Furthermore, at the end of feeding our flesh whatever it desires, we don’t experience the fulfillment, happiness, and satisfaction we’d hoped for; but rather we feel empty, incomplete, and miserable.
Part of crucifying our flesh is as simple as telling it, “NO!” Our flesh is against God (Roman 8:7). The things it desires lead us away from God and cause us to act in an ungodly way. Exercise some discipline in your life and stop giving your flesh everything it wants. Be controlled by the Spirit of God and not your flesh (Galatians 5:25-26). In Mark 8:34 Jesus reminds his disciples that part of following him involves self-denial. You can’t follow Jesus and do whatever your flesh wants to do. The striving for mastery (I Corinthians 9:25) in the Christian life involves being temperate – controlled. This is not a matter of religious asceticism where we train our flesh to behave a certain way. This is about crucifying our flesh and relying upon the Spirit of God to help us be more disciplined/temperate (Galatians 5:22-23).
Try it today. Start telling your flesh, “NO!” Don’t let it do whatever it wants, think whatever it wants, or feel however it wants. I warn you though; it’s going to throw a temper tantrum. It won’t like being denied what it wants to do, think, or feel. Especially if it’s been running the show for years. Be steadfast in the midst of the fleshly tantrum and let God’s Spirit give you strength and temperance.