Photo by Webdexter Apeldoorn on

“What Does it Mean to Crucify the Flesh and Why Should We Do It?”

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”

Galatians 5:24

To crucify the flesh is:

“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires…”

Ephesians 4:22

WHY should we crucify the flesh?

The main reason why we should crucify the flesh is because Jesus did so and we are called to imitate and follow Him.

In Matthew 16:24 Jesus instructs us by saying:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

If Jesus already saved us from sin, why do we need to do anything?

Saying we don’t need to physically do anything to work out our salvation is like saying that Jesus did not need to die on the cross but simply needed to imagine it.

That sounds ridiculous, right?

It is just as absurd for a person to want to serve God but he or she does nothing to do so.

Jesus died to save us from sin, however it is up to us to “work out our own salvation,” indeed, we are called to do so with fear and trembling.

Note: Consider reading about Jesus’ struggle in the GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE. This may offer you some insight on Jesus’ humanity and, that although He did not want to die on the cross, He accepted His Father’s Will and did so anyway.

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.”

Romans 6:6

It is important, especially now, for us to be more afraid of God than whatever the world might do to us.

We gradually work ourselves up to this point as we win more and more small battles over the flesh.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matthew 10:28

Why do we need to war against our flesh?

Our flesh is in a fallen state as a result of the sin of our original parents, Adam and Eve. (To learn more Read Genesis 1-3.) This makes our bodies subject to all manner of temptations.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:14

Humans naturally seek comfort and pleasure, and as a result, we must learn discipline combined with prayer and faith in order to deny ourselves each day.

As this practice becomes more of a habit, the benefits will become more apparent to you and those around you.

What are some ways I can start crucifying my flesh?

# 1 Give time, money, or goods to someone else.

No need to give away everything you own (unless you feel called to by God)! You can start out small and work your way up from there.

My husband used to regularly ask for some of my food, and it REALLY got on my nerves.

After working hard all day with a single piece of cake to look forward to, I wasn’t too keen on sharing it.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on

Yet, as trivial and as SELFISH as this one sounds, giving away my food changed my life. This teeny tiny act of self denial encouraged generosity in my heart while training me for bigger things.

When we give up something we want, (the more we want it the better!), we actively crucify our flesh.

What are some ways to give?

  • volunteer for a cause you feel lead to join
  • donate money to a church or ministry
  • cook a meal for someone
  • give away clothes, jewelry, or other items

Remember, it’s important that our good works be led by the Holy Spirit yet, I’ve rarely found it convenient to do, so don’t be surprised when you find that giving is hard work!

Fun Fact: In Native American culture, children were traditionally encouraged to give away their favorite toy to another child. We too can imitate this practice by not only giving away unwarted or unneeded items, but items we still use, and occasionally, our favorite items.

# 2 Fast or give up a food or drink you love for a predetermined amount of time.

Fasting is beneficial to the mind, body, and spirit. Yet, you don’t have to go to the desert for 40 days and nights to do so.

You can fast from food for a while but if for some reason you are unable, you can also abstain from things like social media, the nail salon, or coffee shops.

Photo by Jessica Lewis on

Here’s a small list of food and drink you can abstain from in order to crucify your flesh.

  • meat (try a vegan or vegetarian diet)
  • sugar
  • dairy
  • coffee
  • alcohol
  • deserts
  • chips and snacks
  • carbohydrates (consider the keto diet for a short time

    No matter how big or small, as long as you offer your fast to God He will honor it.

    Try the Daniel fast! It favors vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

    I know a woman who received somewhat miraculous results simply by giving up chips for a short period of time!

    Tip: For those looking to get into fasting, but who have a hard time doing so, please consider trying the ketogenic diet for a time. This diet mimics a fasted state, therefore makes the transition to fasting smoother.

    Photo by Ella Olsson on

    # 3 Wake up early (before sunrise).

    “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

    Mark 1:35
    Photo by Micah Boerma on

    Read the Bible and you will find that God’s prophets wake up early!

    Some might or been “morning people” but most humans are synced up with the cycle of the sun. Therefore, waking up before sunrise is not a natural inclination.

    Fun fact: our bodies tend to wake up naturally as the sun is rising due to increased levels of cortisol around 6AM.

    The time before dawn is a special time in which we can communicate with God without having to worry about interruptions, so I encourage you to take advantage of it.

    If you meet opposition in waking up early for God, don’t give up! Persist and resist the devil and soon enough you will be rising early like Jesus did.

    In closing, there are many different ways to crucify the flesh and since each of us have varying sinful tendencies, there is not a single set way to do it.

    Photo by fauxels on

    If you ask God what you can do to crucify your flesh, His Holy Sprit will slow you. Don’t be discouraged if this varies from what other Christians are doing and never compare yourself to anyone.

    We are all members of the Body of Christ and each of us are different. However, what we have in common is that Jesus has prepared a place for us. Remember this when you face difficulty in your flesh.

    What do you do to crucify your flesh?

    What things have worked for you?

    What things have not worked for you?

    We would LOVE to hear your comments, so feel free to let us know in the comments section.

    Much Love, many Blessings, Jesus is Lord.

    Share this post

    %d bloggers like this: