Making provision for the flesh means we provide for it or feed it by thinking about or acting on it.
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
We need to keep our heart diligently because what’s in our heart shows in how we live (Proverbs 4:23). The amplified Bible says “guard your heart with all vigilance.” Jesus said evil comes from what is in the heart and defiles man (Matthew 15:18-19). People backslide because they let something get in their heart. We’re all going to be tempted because we’re in the flesh. What we do with temptations determines if we sin. If we think about what the devil offers, we make provision for it. People are drawn away and enticed by their own lusts. We’ll make provision when we’re not satisfied with our life. If we let something in our heart because we want our own way, we’ll act on it and it will become sin. Temptation is not sin but if we dwell on the temptation, it gets in our heart. God lets us have temptations to prove what is in our heart.
James 1:13-15 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted and overcame every temptation using the word of God. We’ll be delivered from temptation by using the word. That’s why we need to study the Bible and have devotions, so we’re prepared to fight temptations. Our opinions or own thoughts won’t help us resist temptations, only the word of God.
Matthew 4:1-4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil…had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And…the tempter…said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he…said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word…of the mouth of God.
The enemy uses scripture to condemn and find fault with us. He accuses us that we can’t do anything right. God is specific to show us how to correct things (a way of escape) so we have victory. The devil condemns, confuses, and takes away hope.
Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up…and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and…they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said….It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord…
Sometimes in temptations we have to just tell the enemy to get thee hence like Jesus did.
Matthew 4:8-11 Again, the devil…sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world…saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus…Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord…and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Joseph didn’t have a Bible but he had relationship and could commune with God. He didn’t carry bad attitudes about his brothers or Potiphar but had forgiveness. He didn’t get a bad attitude or bitter. People saw Joseph was different in his attitude by how he acted. He was honest, trustworthy, dependable, and did his job with his whole heart. That’s why his master put him in charge of all he had. People need to see us like Joseph, not letting bad attitudes or bitterness in our heart.
Genesis 39:1-6 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh…an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites…And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man…And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and…made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight…he made him overseer over his house…the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake…he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
Joseph didn’t have the 10 commandments but was close to God so he knew what sin was. Some temptations come and we have to flee, like Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife. In other temptations, we have to stand on the word like Jesus did.
Genesis 39:7-18…his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said…Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand…he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And…she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not…And it came to pass…Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled…when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand…she called unto the men of her house…saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice…he left his garment with me, and fled…And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. And she spake…saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me: And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
We have to be careful of temptations in what we see or what we watch on the internet, or evil will get into our heart.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Moses was 120 years old, was grieving because Miriam had died, and the congregation murmured because there was no water. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces and prayed. God answered them with what to do.
Numbers 20:2-8 And there was no water for the congregation…And the people chode with Moses…Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?…it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron…fell upon their faces…And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly…and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Moses didn’t obey and didn’t believe what God said. He let his emotions and flesh take over. If we let our emotions and feelings get involved, we won’t ask God for help. We have to obey what God says to do. If we don’t cast our cares on the Lord, it will turn into unbelief. We won’t have peace, joy, or confidence in God for our situations. Moses prayed for God to change his mind so he could go to Canaan. God said not to ask again. We’ll be disappointed in ourselves if we don’t obey.
Numbers 20:9-12…Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation…he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
When king Solomon became king, he prayed for God to give him wisdom to lead the people. God gave him wisdom as we see in Proverbs. Early in his life he said to not love strange women and to keep the heart with diligence (Proverbs 4:23). Solomon wasn’t satisfied and gave into temptation to love strange women. Then he worshiped their idols and gods, like Ashtoreth (female version of Baal) that was worshiped with improper sexual behavior. If we yield to lustful thoughts, we’ll backslide. Solomon didn’t backslide overnight, but as others, backslid gradually. The devil doesn’t care how long it takes.
I Kings 11:1-8 But king Solomon loved many strange women…nations concerning which the Lord said…Ye shall not go in to them…surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For…when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord…Solomon went after Ashtoreth …after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord…Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh…likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
We have to cast down imaginations and thoughts that are contrary to God. Jesus didn’t dwell on what the devil tempted him with, but cast it down. If we dwell on things that are contrary to God, it will cause us to backslide eventually.
I Kings 11:9-10 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord…And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.
God is faithful to help us escape temptations if we ask for his help.
I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will…also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)