Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Always on the Defensive

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.    Romans 6:12

The verb tense of “reign” implies continual action. We are never to relax our defensive posture against the constant attempts of our sinful nature, our flesh, to control us—spirit, soul, and body.

But how do we defend ourselves against these onslaughts?

The command itself implies an act of our will. We must choose not to live out of our “know-it-all attitude.”

Because the command of Romans 6:12 is one of five consecutive commands for living by God’s grace, a part of our defensive stand is obeying the other four.

In obedience to these commands we believe we are crucified, buried, and resurrected. We choose not to give our bodies to our own wisdom but to God. We permit Him to express His love and shine His light through them.

We permit God to express Himself through us when we accept guidance from Him. He continually gives us guidance about what to say and do next.

There seems to be one condition above all others that breaks down our defensive mode against our flesh.


Many of us have admitted lapsing into walking in the flesh when in a continuing state of physical and/or emotional fatigue. The Holy Spirit will lead us to a state of fatigue—but not into a state of continual fatigue.

When we are in a state of continual fatigue, irritability, impatience, rudeness, anger, and other works of the flesh will surface.

When we realize what has happened, we must regain our defensive posture by taking time out to return to continual obedience to the five commands for walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

The Holy Spirit will guide and enable us to keep up our defenses.