REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY
Day 27-Mortifying The Flesh With Fullness
Though saved, I am daily beset by a sinful flesh 127 that always craves those things that are contrary to the Spirit.128 These fleshly lusts are vicious enemies, constantly waging war against the good of my soul.129 Yet they promise me fullness, and their promises are so deliciously sweet that I often find myself giving into them as if they were friends that have my best interests at heart.
On the most basic of levels, I desire fullness and fleshly lusts seduce me by attaching themselves to this basic desire. They exploit the empty spaces in me, and they promise that fullness will be mine if I give into their demands. When my soul sits empty and is aching for something to fill it, such deceptive promises are extremely difficult to resist.
Consequently, the key to mortifying fleshly lusts is to eliminate the emptiness within me and replace it with fullness; and I accomplish this by feasting on the gospel. Indeed, it is in the gospel that I experience a God who glorifies Himself by filling me with Himself. He is the One, Paul says, “who fills all in all.”130 He is the One who “fill[s] all things”with the gifts He gives.131 and He lavishes gospel blessings upon me with the goal that I “be filled up to all the fullness of God.”132 This is the God of the gospel, a God who is satisfied with nothing less than my experience of fullness in Him! The first command God spoke in the Garden was, “eat freely.”133 And with similar insistence He says to me now, “be filled.”134
What happens to my appetites for sin when I am filled with the fullness of God in Christ? Jesus provides this answer: “He who continually comes to Me will never hunger or thirst again.”135 Indeed, as I perpetually feast on Christ and all of His blessings found in the gospel, I find that my hunger for sin diminishes and the lies of lust simply lose their appeal. Hence, to the degree that I am full, I am free. Eyes do not rove, nor do fleshly lusts rule, when the heart is fat with the love of Jesus
Preaching the gospel to myself each day keeps before me the startling advocacy of God for my fullness, and it also serves as a means by which I feast anew on the fullness of provision that God has given to me in Christ. “Eat[ing] freely” of such provision keeps me occupied with God’s blessings and also leaves me with a profoundly enjoyable sense of satisfaction in Jesus. And nothing so mortifies fleshly lusts like satisfaction in Him.
127-Galatians 5. “(19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, (21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…”
128-Galatians 5:17. “For the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another…”
129-1 Peter 2:11. “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against your soul.”
130-Ephesians 1. “(22)…the church, (23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
131-Ephesians 4. “(7) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (8) Therefore it says, ‘When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.’…(10)…that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
132-Ephesians 3. “(14) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…(16) that he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory…(19)…that you may be filled up with all the fullness of God.”
133-Genesis 2:16. “The Lord commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;”
134-Ephesians 5:18. “…be being filled [present tense] by the Spirit.”
135-John 6:35. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who is coming [present tense] to Me will not hunger, and he who is believing [present tense] in Me will never thirst'” [literal translation]