3 Benefits to Crucify the Flesh

Discover three benefits to crucify the flesh. Mama always told me that you can’t cast out the flesh; it needs to be crucified. Here’s why.


When we think about crucifying fleshly desires we often cringe. But have you ever prayed to be closer to God? I have. What we probably mean by that is desiring to become more spiritually mature.

I think God is going to answer that prayer whether we’ve prayed it or not because He is bringing us through a process of sanctification (Philippians 1:6).

He’s working to refine us, to free us from impurities. He’s freeing us from the sins that are in our heart, making us more holy as He is holy.

And while He does that, He will allow opportunities to come into our day to see if we’ll respond by doing the Word, choosing to love, and obeying Him.

Some days will seem worse than others. Problems will visit—some might even move in. If I’m having trouble, first I can go into warfare and command any devil bothering me to leave. But after that? I could cast out devils all I want, but if I’m still giving into my fleshly desires I’ll still be in hot water.

Mama always told me that you can’t cast out the flesh; it needs to be crucified.

What do I mean? Let me begin by sharing a few verses.

What Does the Bible Say About Crucifying Fleshly Desires?

The Bible is for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). It admonishes us to dig deep and deny ourselves of fleshly tendencies.

Check out these Bible verses to help you crucify your flesh

Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. Galatians 5:24

He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  Luke 9:23

For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  Romans 8:13

Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  Colossians 3:5

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. That life whichI now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey itin its lusts. Romans 6:11-12 and all of Romans 6.

But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. James 1:22

Why Should We Crucify the Flesh?

Benefit #1—Less Headaches Later

Remember that time-consuming, overwhelming homeschool organizational project that I procrastinated for years? Right. You don’t. Because I didn’t want to do it, I pushed it out of my head. So I didn’t talk about it to anyone.

When I finally began tackling the dreaded, yet necessary project, I noticed a recurring sound—me groaning in regret for letting it pile up. The molehill had definitely turned into a mountain this time.

In hindsight, I noticed several reasons it would have been more helpful to just deal with it. But I was lazy about it. Sometimes I’m the same way when it comes to dealing with my flesh. I want to deal with my issues now because that means I’ll have less headaches later. If I’m always walking in anger, or lust, or pride, it’s just going to get worse.

Benefit #2—More Joy

Have you ever been scrolling through social media when life is good, and you come across a verse like “love is patient; love is kind”? It’s easy to click “like” on days like that.

But what about when that family member rubbed you the wrong way? (Let’s be real here.) What about when you’re still giving into your humanness, completely “fleshing out”?

James says to count it all joy when you come into various trials. Why should I be joyful when I’m meeting all kinds of trouble? When I’m tempted to be impatient or irritable with my family? If I’m jealous of the other person? When pride rises?

Because God is working on ME.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 

The word perfect in the Greek is referring to spiritual maturity—not perfection. God is causing me to grow spiritually and that gives me joy!

Benefit #3—I Can Help Others

My life is an example to everyone around me. They notice how I respond to life’s problems or if I give into temptation.

If I’m spiritually immature, I’m giving into my old nature instead of walking in my new nature. And that’s going to negatively affect and hurt the people around me.

If I am in the habit of crucifying my fleshly desires, that means I’m going to walk in the Spirit instead of my flesh. That means I’m not going to let sin have it’s way in me, but retrain my thinking according to the Word of God.

When I do that, I grow spiritually.

It’s the same for any follower of Jesus. Those who are becoming more spiritually mature are looking more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). Then others see Jesus in us. That’s going to be a good example. And that’s going to help others.

Prayer to Crucify the Flesh Daily

Father God, I ask You to help me crucify my flesh daily. I desire to grow more spiritually mature and bear fruit for Your name. It’s not about me and my flesh—I’ll never be satisfied giving in to sin. So thank You for strength as I obey Your Word. I live for You and choose to walk in the Spirit according to Galatians 5:25. Guide my life, Holy Spirit. Have Your way in me! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nobody ever said it was easy! But having less headaches later, having more joy, and being able to help someone else all seem like good reasons to crucify fleshly desires to me!

You can't cast out the flesh; it needs to be crucified. Here are 3 benefits to crucifying fleshly desires. #LiveYielded #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet

What are other reasons to crucify the flesh?

In this post we talked about why it’s good to crucify fleshly desires. If you want to know how, check out How to Find Victory for Overcoming Weakness.


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21 Comments

    1. Hi, Kimberly. She seemed to say it most when I needed to hear it the most. 😉 I’ll hop right over to your post. Thanks for visiting today!

    1. Thanks, Ruth. I’d never heard the coffin quote before, but that’s funny. It’s true that we open the door to enemy—sin is his domain. Thankfully, we can apply the Word and the Word works! Thanks for visiting. I pray you stay nourished and thriving this week!

  1. Yes, the Scarlett O’Hara approach of “I will think about it tomorrow.” is never really a good option, Thank you for your words of encouragement,

  2. HI Kelly, stopping by from Grace & Truth. Your mama was so right…our flesh has to be crucified…daily….sometimes moment by moment. It truly is the only way we can ever live the Jesus-life. So nice to meet you!

    1. Nice to meet you, too, Leah! And I’m glad you landed on my site. You’re right—sometimes it’s a continual application. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Praying you stay nourished and thriving this week!

    1. I’ll tell her you said so! I’m glad the more we turn away from sin and our fleshly desires, the more His glory can be seen. Happy to have you here, Dianne! 🙂

  3. I loved this post! Crucifying our flesh is a choice we make followed by repentance that takes action. I really loved your reasons why we should crucify our fleshly desires. I’m visiting from Moments of Hope link-up.

    1. Great to see you here, Valerie, and I’m glad you liked it. Repentance does take action. Without it we won’t thrive.

  4. I like point #3–we grow spiritually not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others. We need to share our struggles with others so they can have hope of overcoming their struggles. Great post!

    1. Right, Sarah. We want to fulfill our callings, and spiritual growth is necessary in doing so. Thanks for stopping by, friend!

  5. Kelly, this is great — and not an easy topic to write about, but Paul talks about “mortification” of the flesh which certainly means DEATH. But, thanks be to God for the gospel which turns everything sad “untrue” and teaches me that the path to real life is through death to my sin and my selfishness.
    Blessings!

    1. Thanks for saying so, Michele! I was just telling my mom that this is not a popular subject. I ask God why can’t I write on “fun” subjects? But when He says to do something I have to do it, and keep my attitude in check. 😉 Great to see you here; I’ve been thinking about you lately. Blessings, friend.

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