“It is the Spirit who gives life: the flesh profits nothing…”
The flesh can actually look pretty good. We can tie it all up in a pretty package with a great big bow on top and present it to our world. And our world will receive it with a smile and even congratulations, rewards, and accolades. But when you open up that big pretty package, it is still utterly putrid inside. The flesh might look good if we are depending on ourselves and are good at what we do: joining the military, being the CEO, having 6+ children, winning pageants, homeschooling, traveling abroad, being on tv, getting a million “likes”, etc…
None of these things are bad, but if we base our self-esteem on them or do them in our own strength for our own reward, then they are putrid because as long as we rely on ourselves, we are not relying on God. Only He can make us righteous – not of our own accomplishments, but through the blood of Jesus. Only when we rely upon the Lord Jesus is the Spirit able to give life to our actions and our words. Life that saves and encourages and hopes and is joyful and is at peace.
The Israelites were warned not to rely on horses and chariots or other nations, but upon the Lord their God. He won their wars for them with hailstones, broken walls, and even hornets! (Joshua 24:12). It was His Spirit that brought about victory! What are you depending on? Is it your intelligence and degrees, your beauty, your ability to parent correctly, your career? God doesn’t need any of those things to bring victory to your life. He might choose them to bless you after you have turned them over to Him, but He needs only His Holy Spirit working in you to obtain great gain.