For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:24)
To resign from the follies of sin is to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. What does it mean to crucify the flesh? Jesus was crucified, condemned by the rulers of the day. His hands and feet nailed to the cross, unable to move as he had before. Death was imminent. Yet, He still had breath. As He hung on the cross, the crowd below watching, with His last breath He pleaded: “Father, forgive them” (Lk. 23:34), “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Lk. 23:43), “Woman, behold your son” (Jn. 19:26-27), “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). He still had breath. He still ministered. He still carried out His Father’s Will.
When we crucify our flesh, we look to Jesus on the cross. Jesus’ crucifixion was borne out of the fleshly passions and desires of the authorities in Jerusalem. We decide to crucify our fleshly passions and desires when we ask Jesus to have authority in our life. We choose to have our hands and feet nailed to the cross. Like Jesus, we are still alive, we still have breath as we attempt to put to death our tendency toward fleshly lusts—our desire for the forbidden fruit. It is only by the grace of God and through the power of His Spirit that we can crucify our selfish passions and desires: hard to control and fatal to our life in Christ. In our own strength we cannot overcome (Gal. 5:17). Denying our fleshly lusts is excruciatingly painful. Let us not forget Christ’s suffering far greater pain for the salvation of all mankind. When we do crucify the passions and desires of the flesh, we begin to discover the fruit of the Spirit, including love, joy, peace, kindness (vv. 22-23).
Are you lost in the never-ending cycle of desire to satisfy the active impulses of your lusts and passions? A love of self, a hunger to satisfy your earthly desires, to gratify the flesh. Harmful to you and harmful to others. While you live in the flesh, you are obligated to grapple with the lingering death of your flesh until you are delivered from its burden. While wrestling with your earthly desires, you can carry out the Will of God by your words, your actions, your desires as you yield to Him—to His Word, to His Spirit. It is not easy to crucify the flesh and yield to God. As you struggle to overcome your flesh, remember “My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; for Thee all the follies of sin I resign.”