X. THE FLESH BEING UNABLE TO PLEASE GOD
Romans 8:8 says that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Because the flesh cannot subject itself to the law of God, it cannot please God. It is impossible for the flesh to please God. All these points need much development for our sharing.
XI. NOT TRUSTING IN THE FLESH
In Philippians 3:3 Paul said, "For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh." The religious ones may worship and serve God while always boasting and having confidence in the flesh, but we should not be like this. We should not have any confidence in our flesh for our worship and service to God.
XII. NOT SOWING UNTO THE FLESH
Galatians 6:8a says that if we sow unto the flesh, we will reap corruption of the flesh. To sow unto one’s own flesh is to sow for one’s own flesh, with the desire and purpose of the flesh in view, to fulfill what the flesh covets. We should not carry out any kind of spiritual endeavor by our flesh. I may go to visit a saint in my flesh and not in my spirit. That is the sowing unto the flesh that will yield a harvest of corruption. Corruption will eventually come out of visiting the saints or the churches in this way. We should not invest in any spiritual things by our flesh or unto our flesh. If we do this, we will reap corruption of the flesh.
XIII. NOT FULFILLING THE LUST OF THE FLESH
Galatians 5:16 says, "Walk by the Spirit and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh." Walking by the Spirit keeps us from fulfilling the lust of the flesh.
XIV. CRUCIFYING THE FLESH
Galatians 5:24 says, "But they who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts." The flesh is good only for crucifixion. It must stay on the cross. In the church service, we must help all the saints to see that our motive and intention must be pure, without any element of the flesh. Ambition is of the flesh. No other work exposes our flesh as much as the church service. The secular work is absolutely according to the flesh, so this kind of work does not expose the flesh. But the church service is altogether a matter of the Spirit. Thus, whatever we do by our flesh is exposed.
In order to have the proper church service, every saint should know not only the Spirit but also the flesh. If we know the flesh and do nothing according to the flesh, there will be no jealousy, envy, or ambition among us. I feel that this lesson on the flesh is crucial. All the saints need to know this. The flesh is a terrible "gopher." Most of the time it is hidden, but sometimes it comes to the surface. A gopher is a good illustration of this. The flesh is a great undermining factor that damages the church life.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)