III. THE FLESH FIGHTING AGAINST GOD’S PEOPLE
IN THEIR JOURNEY TO ATTAIN TO GOD’S GOAL
Exodus 17:8-13 speaks of Amalek fighting against the children of Israel while they were journeying to attain to God’s goal. Amalek signifies the flesh. This reveals that the flesh fights against God’s people in their journey to attain to God’s goal. As we follow the Lord on His way, the biggest subjective and inward frustration is our flesh. The flesh always frustrates, hinders, and fights against us in our journey. The church is delayed from going on mainly because of the flesh.
IV. GOD BEING DETERMINED TO BLOT OUT
THE FLESH AND TO FIGHT AGAINST IT
FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION
Exodus 17 tells us that the Lord swore to have war with Amalek from generation to generation (vv. 14-16). The children of Israel overcame Amalek through Moses and Joshua. Moses was praying on the mountain, while Joshua was fighting Amalek. Moses and Joshua are two aspects of Christ: the ascended Christ interceding and the indwelling Christ fighting. We have no other way to overcome the flesh except by the living Christ, who is the ascended One interceding for us and the indwelling One fighting within us.
This warfare cannot be settled once for all. It is a warfare that continues from generation to generation. Day after day and all day long, while we are still in the old creation, we have to fight against the flesh. God is determined to blot it out, but this is not easy. In the fight against Amalek, Moses built an altar and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi, which means "Jehovah my banner" (Exo. 17:15). This means that Jehovah is the banner for fighting. God is determined to blot out the flesh and to fight against it from generation to generation.
V. GOD COMMANDING US
TO UTTERLY DESTROY THE FLESH
In 1 Samuel 15:1-3 God charged King Saul to destroy Amalek utterly, and He told Saul that this was because of what happened in Exodus 17 when Amalek frustrated the journey of God’s people to reach His goal. God commanded Saul to destroy everything belonging to Amalek, but Saul did not do it.
VI. WE WILL LOSE THE KINGSHIP
BY NOT UTTERLY DESTROYING THE FLESH
Saul lost his kingship because he did not utterly destroy Amalek (1 Sam. 15:4-23). This tells us that we also will lose the kingship if we do not utterly destroy our flesh.
In Galatians 5:19-21 fifteen items of the works of the flesh are listed. Fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, bouts of drunkenness, and carousings are related to the lust of the corrupted body. Enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, divisions, sects, and envyings are related to the fallen soul, which is very closely related to the corrupted body. Idolatry and sorcery are related to the deadened spirit. This proves that the three parts of our fallen being—body, soul, and spirit—are all involved with the corrupted, evil flesh. Thus, in order to deal with the flesh, we have to deal with the lustful body, the corrupted soul, and the deadened spirit. We need to deal with the flesh by the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)