Starving Our Temptations—Part 1

As I enjoyed the days of Thanksgiving holiday, a friend and I committed to help each other with individual health goals for December. (Why wait till January 1 for resolutions, right?) For starters, I’ll try to hit the elliptical at the gym twice a week, and also try one more time to be diligent about drinking lots of water. No time like now to get a fresh start!

But ohhh—the pull of our fleshly desires just doesn’t die easily. They don’t just go away, do they sisters? They need to be starved, slowly slain, dried out. You choose the adverbial phrase that resonates most deeply with your own experience as a woman seeking to live and relate in holy ways.

Romans 13:14 is a verse that speaks to this ‘holy starvation’ process that we’re all called to as followers of Christ. It says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (ESV). Somehow, putting on the clothes—that is, the character—of Jesus Christ while simultaneously learning how to starve our unique patterns of temptation and selfish desire is the spiritual combination that leads to the changes God wants to make in our lives.

And unlike typical January resolutions, which tend to be self-focused, the changes God is making in us leads to a growing desire and ability to love other, which is the larger context of chapter 13: “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (v. 8).

I’ll explore these thoughts a bit more in my next posts.

For reflection:

  • Read these passages to learn more of what it means to be “clothed” in Jesus: Colossians 3:12-13; Galatians 3:26-28.
  • What desires of the flesh keep you from loving people? Don’t think just in terms of big sin but of everyday, little ways that you make provision for selfishness in your life.
Updated 5.10.2017
Ellen Mary Dykas
About The Author
Ellen oversees the Philadelphia office’s ministry to women. Her ministry is focused on discipleship with women who are struggling with sexual and relational sins in their own lives, as well as women who are impacted by the sexual sins of their spouses or others. Ellen is available to teach, equip and encourage others (churches, organizations) to become more effective in ministering the gospel of Christ into the midst of all aspects of sexual brokenness.


  • By Denise Jennings 15 Apr 2011

    Thank you for so much for sharing heart felt, Gospel-centered truths in such a practical way. You have encouraged me greatly to examine my heart, actions, time, and activities.

  • By betty 08 Oct 2013

    bingo. i am learning it hs nothing of my strength to change. i renew my mind with His word. but it is by His Holy Spirit which changes me. in this i wait, for i can not change my own heart. so the struggle continues until in God’s will/design will He change me. but in my life i just don’t sit and wait. i do the next thing in my life that God wills for me to do in every monotony of daily living, doing it – living to give God glory in everyday living…my living sacrifice
    He gives me the grace, the desire, and empowers me to do these things. i am giving my selfish wll over to God’s will, who wants the best for me. not easiest or comfortable.. Poppa, please help me to keep me in You and You in me.
    What a wonderful Living God we serve~

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