The flesh is weak, and thus the flesh is strong.
Its eyes, created to behold the light,
Look to be filled by shadows in the night.
Its lips attempt to sing a lesser song,
Changing its subject to subjects. Its hands
Fight to feel control. Its nose calls rotten
All fragrance of the only begotten.
Its mind feigns thought yet never understands.
Strange is its weakness, stranger still its strength,
For, though inferior to its design,
The flesh oft captivates the soul of man,
Distracting all the senses for the length
Of life, lest spirit somehow glimpse a sign
That life was purposed for a higher plan.
Ne’er underestimate the danger here.
Long as you live, the enemy is near.
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Your word: my great undoing, my delight.
I fear to look within, yet fear to stray,
For fear of you (sweet wisdom) shines a light
Upon my path and forces me to say
That I know not my heart or mind so well
As I assumed. This flesh doth e’er deceive.
No strength of will nor want could ever quell
Its tenor regnant. I cannot relieve
My soul from waywardness, for I am bound.
In ev’ry song I sing, I hear its sound.
Discern, speak truth, correct! Let me be found!
You see more clearly than I ever could
And cut more deeply than I wish you would.
I know that all of this is for my good.
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I take up pen and page to point to truth
And pray my purpose is not rendered vague.
I recognize my mind reveals my youth;
Lord, let me neither tarry nor stravage.
I am a humble runnel of your reign.
Use these my words like water to refresh.
And when I feel my writing is in vain,
Remind me that I do not write for flesh.
These poems need not please the multitude.
These words require no mortal praise nor fame.
These messages may never earn my food;
I pray they ever glorify your name.
I write to please the one who knows my end.
I offer these, my poems for the wind.
The Tempter set before the man a game.
“Three tries to name your greatest enemy.
If you succeed, this lion will be tame,
But if you fail, you never will be free.”
The man thought for a moment then agreed.
“You are a devil, sir, and most unwise,
So I will take advantage and be freed.”
From lips which grinned, the devil said, “Two tries.”
Taken aback, the man said, “Satan, then.”
And Satan, snickering, said, “Last attempt.”
“Then Lucifer I name thee, lord of sin!”
“Then you, sir, from sin’s rule are not exempt.”
This captive man will have to face God’s thresh
Unless he will perceive his guilty flesh.
A boy who died when I was just a boy
Has haunted me up to this very day.
His ghost I fear I never will destroy;
His face I fear will never fade away.
With breathless voice, he whispers in my ear.
With sightless eyes, he stares into my soul.
With ev’ry step I take, I see him sneer
With devilish desire to take control.
But victory for him would mean my doom,
For he would see me suffering in hell.
Though safe am I by truth of empty tomb,
The specter whispers still, “All is not well.”
I am until my final breath a host
Ever departing from him, my own ghost.
I trust you, but I do not trust you;
Love you, but my heart is cold;
Hope in you, yet live as hopeless.
I am new, yet still am old.
I am your own by your good pleasure,
Living by your love and grace.
Why then do I dare to doubt and
In your presence hide my face?
O Father, how I still forsake you
While I wish to know you more!
Wretched flesh, this wayward servant,
Works to wrench me from your shore!
But it cannot defeat redemption,
Nor diminish your resolve.
None can snatch this great salvation,
Nor condemn those you absolve.
So in this grace I stand acquitted,
Salvaged from futility.
Now I live by thy great power
Free for all eternity.
I feel temptation’s throes around me now.
My heart is being beaten by the brute.
This flesh would see me finished with my vow.
Cry vengeance, God, and cut it at the root.
Too long have I now struggled just to breathe.
Too long have I imagined life is jest.
The holy Sword of God I must unsheathe,
And drive the blade into my very chest.
Cut out the heart of stone, O Lord of hosts,
And bring the dead to life by sacrifice,
For Christ has come to walk among the ghosts.
He paid with his own blood the ransom price.
O resurrected Warrior of light,
Raise me now up to worship and to fight.