It is a true saying that for every New Testament principle, there is an Old Testament picture. Abraham is a picture (or type) of Father God, Isaac is a picture of Jesus, Rebekah is a picture of the church (the Bride of Christ), and Esau and Jacob are pictures of you and I. At the very least they are symbolic representations of the two entities that continually war within us: flesh and spirit. This enduring conflict (in my opinion) is the prevalent woe of the Christian church today.
The War Within
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:17
We are familiar with the old aphorism that tells us the dog who wins the fight is the one we feed the most—it is a model we can understand. The same principle holds true in regard to our flesh and our spirit—the one that develops and thrives is the one which is fed the most. It stands to reason that if we are miserable ~or~ if we want to feel miserable, then feed them both.
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:16
Misery is Contagious
When we feed both the spirit and the flesh, we make ourselves miserable and in turn we make Jesus nauseous. In this verse from Revelation, Jesus is not telling us (as Christians) that He is disgusted with us, but rather that our miserable condition pains Him internally. If you have ever felt sick over a loved one’s destructive behavior, then perhaps you can commiserate with Jesus—in these situations there is little to do except ache and pray. When the victim is us we have one other option.
Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden is light, therefore it stands to reason that a difficult yoke and heavy burden belongs to someone else. It really all comes down to one decisive problem—there are just some things we do not want to give up. Our salvation is not in question necessarily, but rather the choice to be miserable. The Jesus-solution is simple and straightforward…
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts…For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Joshua 24:15, Romans 13:14; 8:6