Rom 13:14 says: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
We tend to think of providing as a good thing! It normally is. But if we are providing ways for ourselves to fall into sin... then it's not a good thing.
Make not provision for the flesh.
I looked up the world "provision" in the Greek (wonderful language by the way) and this is what it means:
From G4306; forethought, that is, provident care or supply: - providence, provision.
Pastor Dad went down a list of examples of making provision for the flesh (to fulfill the lusts thereof.) First of all, be honest with yourself. What do you struggle with? You know. Everyone has a weakness! If you want to be saved, you first have to be honest with God and with your self. You have to admit to yourself that you have a weakness in a certain area in order to be able to work on your problem. Here are some prominent examples:
Scenario 1: You have a problem with looking at bad pictures or going to wrong places on the internet.
Provision for the flesh: Being alone somewhere on a computer. Having a smartphone with access to all kinds of things that could eventually lead you to hell. You're providing a way for your flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof!
Solution: Make yourself accountable to someone! Never allow yourself to be alone on a computer somewhere, and/or get rid of any way you could access it. And pray!
Scenario 2: You get tempted/pressured to wear things to school or work that you know are immodest and against the teaching of the church, and of course God's Word.
Provision for the flesh: You still have articles of clothing in your closet that are ungodly. Maybe they're even packed away in a box somewhere or in storage! You're providing a way for your flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof!
Solution: Throw them all away! Don't leave things around somewhere that will be there one day when you're weak. If they're not there, you won't be tempted by them! And don't forget to pray and ask God to help you! Prayer works. But prayer doesn't do much good if you keep things around to tempt you. Distance works.
Scenario 3: You struggle with worldly music and find that your flesh really likes certain beats and styles that aren't pleasing to God.
Provision for the flesh: Maybe you got rid of some of the 'really bad' CD's or songs downloaded onto whatever, but some you didn't get rid of. They're just 'there.' You know, just in case. What are you doing? You're creating a storage room of potential for sin. But if that isn't there, then you won't have it to go to when you're weak and being tempted!
Solution: Make yourself accountable to someone! Let them know you struggle with worldly music. Throw out any worldly CD's and delete all songs off any devices that you know are not pleasing to God. Maybe that even includes some songs that fall under the 'Christian' label. Just because some music is labeled as Christian music doesn't mean it's 'like Christ.' God is disgusted with some of the music that is made in His Name, because at the core it really isn't holy and really doesn't lift Him up. If you know you'll be tempted to re-download something, disable iTunes, or get ride of your device. Does that sound extreme? Maybe it does! But it's better to completely get rid of something now than to go to hell over something so small and silly later on down the road!
Jesus had something to say about this:
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Jesus is not literally telling us to cut off our hands or pluck out our eyes, but there is a principle here. If you know something is going to trip you up and cause you to stumble, then get rid of it! Cut it off! Cut off things. Cut off people. Cut off anything that you know can or will influence you in a direction away from God. Salvation is serious business, my friends! Many people will be lost because there was something in their life that they failed to 'cut off,' and it led them to hell.
The word "decide" has an interesting Origin: 1350-1400; Middle English deciden < Middle French decider < Latin decidere literally, to cut off. When you truly decide to live for God, you will cut off all other options and the things that you know can drag you down.
I encourage everyone reading this, especially young people: Don't be afraid to take out the proverbial scissors and cut off anything (things/relationships) that is pulling you away from God. Sometimes cutting things off hurts; But I can promise you that if you do your part, God will bless you, help you, and give you strength. It will be worth it!
"Above all else, I must be saved."