Then Isaac said to Jacob, “come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not…” so he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him”
Genesis 27:22, 27
As I conclude this discourse about Isaac and his wild affection and appetite for worldliness and its satisfaction, it is important we consider what ultimately befalls a man such as Isaac at the end of such reckless adventure.
A man besiege by deception will only become veiled with error and distorted realities.
I mentioned earlier that Isaac flirting with the taste of wild games of the open country; firstly, cost him both spiritual and physical vision. Secondly, polluted his life with strange cultures and destructive appetite. Thirdly, corrupted his soul irreparably and damage his spirit. And fourthly, engendered in him an evil and wicked disposition.
Ultimately, Isaac lost all spiritual sensitivity and was plunged into the wilderness of his natural senses. He became carnal, having begun by the means of the Spirit, he finished by the means of the flesh. Galatians 3:3. His discerning antenna was badly damaged, and no spiritual signal available whatsoever. He was betrayed by a mere “taste” for inordinate affection.
To the sensual, illusion becomes real and delusion replaces revelation. Discernment gets veiled by deception, while reality gets obscured.
Began in the Spirit, Ended in the Flesh…
Isaac, a man that started well with God and engaged the fellowship of his presence, and on several occasions in the past secured direction and comfort from God, now later in his life had to depend and trust his senses for guidance.
In retrospect, Isaac had a practice of seeking God. He was once in the field meditation at evening time when camel caravan approached carrying his precious cargo – Rebekah. Genesis 24:62. He was at some point seeking God for direction during famine and God appeared to him with divine instructions. In obedience, he prospered a hundredfold. Genesis 26, 1-3, 13. Yet, on another account, Isaac sought God in prayers on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayers, even with gracious revelation of the future concerning his children. Genesis 25:21-13.
This man had history that he had walked with God closely. Why then did he miss the mark at this crucial point of his life? The time to transfer the spiritual blessing, covenanted to Abraham. Why could he not perceive the delusion encroaching his judgement?
The answer is simple.
He abandoned the altar of fellowship and went after the altar of compromise. He became overly sensual and no longer spiritual. Isaac became complacent and blind towards God. He revealed that he was blind to the character of Esau and even aided it, and also blind to his wife’s vision regarding Jacob and so on.
When your judgement on issues and perception of life gets predominated by what you can feel, touch, smell and hear, then you are sensual. A spiritual man depends on God solely for leading and Direction.
Jesus gave them this answer:
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
Isaac’s siege of deception came to the climax at the moment he out rightly became sensual. Though he knew he was being subjective and susceptible to deception, he was powerless because of his inability to activate the spiritual.
“Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things…”
1 Corinthians 2:15.
Deception is a spirit, and it is only the Spirit of God that can expose him wherever he operates.
Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
Let us put all of these into a language we can understand. What are some of the characteristics that identify a “carnal Christian”? These are born again Christians because they have the Spirit of God in them. However, because they have chosen to follow what the flesh has told them over God’s promptings, their actions show forth “self” rather than God. Here are some marks of identification.
Carnal Christians are often talkative and flippant, always making themselves the centre of attention. They tend to use many words and look upon themselves as far more advanced than others. Consequently they are often fault finders. Working for the lord is of the utmost importance to them, but they feel that everything must be done in a hurry. They do not wait on the Lord for his answer. They often rely upon their own personality and have a large spiritual vocabulary. They are usually uncommonly gifted, have great talent and magnetic personalities. But then they dwell on their own superiority.
The basic characteristic of the works of the flesh are independence or self-dependence, self-confidence and self-reliance. This Christian values self-will above God’s will.
Sensual believes try to satisfy their curiosity by studying prophecy. They believe that knowing mentally is the same thing as possessing experientially. They have great acquired knowledge, but not spirit-revealed knowledge. It’s important to note, however, that increased spiritual head-knowledge will often strengthen our carnality, deceiving us into thinking we are spiritual.
The danger of the above is that because God’s spirit is suppressed, the soulish and bodily realm will rule. Allowing the power of darkness to get an advantage. God designed the sanctification process to remove all hindrance so that the Holy Spirit can control us. Sanctification is simply the process of restoring the image of Christ in us. Unfortunately, many carnal Christians are unwilling to pay that prices.
Thus, you can be born again by the Spirit, and yet still spend 90% of your time in the soulish realm. If this is the case, your ministry and teaching will not produce any real life or power. Listen to John 6:63
“it is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing”
Ask yourself, do any of the above characteristics describe you? If so allow Holy Spirit to personally reveal them to you, and in response, deal with them as God would have you before you get captured.
Other “works of the flesh” are described in Galatians 5:19-21
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Remember a couple of other things
- Whatever does not come from depending upon the Spirit is of the flesh
- Attempting to follow God without denying self is the root of all failure
- The flesh is Satan’s workshop
- Putting confidence in the flesh is death and will destroy our ability to glorify Christ
Consequently, we must continually judge ourselves and bring our flesh into captivity so that God’s life may come forth. This is called “The Exchanged Life” and this is what the sanctification process is all about.