16th July 2019

READ: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” – 1 Corinthians 3:3

God is working through men and women who have what I call “carnal instincts”. “But we have this treasure in EARTHEN VESSELS, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

“Earthen vessels” refers to the flesh. A leader must learn to control and direct his natural desire for carnal things. Certain people are unable to fast. They cannot control their stomachs. Some women have the natural instinct to be jealous or quarrelsome. If this carnal instinct is unchecked, a person will discover that he can lead no one.

Jesus overcame His carnal instincts (Hebrews 4:15). In the garden of Gethsemane, His natural instincts made Him recoil from the thought of the cross. However, He prayed earnestly about it and was able to gain control of Himself. Even on the cross, His natural instincts made Him think of calling on an-gels to deliver Him, but once again, He held Himself in check.

It is gaining control of these natural instincts that separate leaders from followers. Leaders also have feelings, temptations or fleshly desires. They have as many of these lower instincts as anyone else. If we were to follow our natural instincts, we would never pray, fast or read our Bibles.

Learn how Apostle Paul kept his natural, lower instincts in check. “BUT I KEEP UNDER MY BODY, AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

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