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The Referee
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” – Romans 8:13

There is a war going on inside each of us. The flesh and the spirit. Mortal enemies in every sense of the word. Day after day, round after round, they wage battle inside of us, fighting for our very souls.

Popular culture sometimes depicts this as an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each whispering in alternate ears. But the reality feels more like a boxing match happening within our hearts and minds.

Each fighter is seasoned and prepared. A strategy flows through each of them. The match can feel like it is going back and forth, jostling, confusing, and sometimes difficult to endure.

But there is a critical aspect of this epic battle raging within us that we often miss. There is one other player in the ring. The referee. 

The referee in the battle between the flesh and the spirit is us. We get to choose the winner. The vital thing to recognize is that after choosing the winner, we then serve them for that round. Our first impulse is always to go with the flesh. But our deeper desire is to follow the Spirit.

One of the flesh’s favorite tricks is to convince us there is no referee. In fact, to convince us that we and the flesh are one, and we are deciding how much to give in to the demanding Spirit, who wants to spoil our fun.

All of the flesh’s victories are by forfeit. If we fight to know the truth, and choose the truth, then we will win. The Spirit will see to it.

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