“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh” (Romans 8:12).
“The flesh” is that urge within us toward total autonomy and rebellion, toward being our own little gods–accountable to no one, responsible to no one, obeying no one, respecting no one, and running our own little worlds to suit ourselves. It has inherent in us an element of self-centeredness and selfishness that keeps us from being completely and totally His.
The Lord Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega–The Beginning and the End. He demands submission to Himself and that means every area of our lives are to be submitted to Him. To leave a pet sin is wickedness when He died for every sin. Also a good God expects us to capture every thought and denounce the flesh and announce that your mind belongs to Christ. The flesh does not run you for we run it by the Spirit of God. We are to resist the devil and the improper advances made available to us. We are to master them and punish every sign of disobedience that rises as a vagrant soldier to cut us down.
Persistence and patience is what I get to do. For we are never free from an attack of the the world or the flesh. Don’t lay down your armor until you get home. There is no vacation when it comes to the exterior foe–the world, the interior foe–the flesh, and the infernal foe–Satan. But we have won in Christ, for what He has once delivered for us now, I must and have the privilege to deal with my interior life moment by moment and hour by hour. It is possible and plausible. Praise His name!