June 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

She died at 32 years of age. She was one of the great singing voices of the 20th Century. Who was she? She was Karen Carpenter who, together with her brother, Richard, formed the hit singing group, The Carpenters. Karen literally starved herself to death at age 32 (1950-1983). The official cause of death was listed as heart attack brought on by anorexia nervosa, a condition few knew or understood in the 1970s. Why did she starve herself? In high school someone called her “fatty." Karen couldn't get that voice out of her head and it drove her to dieting. Her weight dropped from 145 to120 lbs. but then she kept losing weight. Food was the enemy. At the time of her death she weighed less than 90 lbs. Karen Carpenter starved herself to death!

What are the takeaways from Karen Carpenter's tragic death? What can Christians learn? Starvation through anorexia nervosa is a bad thing, but starvation of our sin nature, referred to in the Bible as the flesh, is a good thing. You inherited it from Adam. The flesh is programmed to sin by disobeying God's Word and His values. So, how can we overcome the flesh and live the Christian life victoriously? By putting into practice the Victory Equation given in the Bible.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:14)

There are two parts to the victory equation: 1. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and part 2, Make no provision for the flesh (sinful appetites) to fulfill its lusts. Let's look in depth at both parts:

Part one, Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. The first half of the victory equation commands us to “Put on,” literally “sink into Christ as though He was a garment. Wrap yourself in Christ. In the original, put on is a command done one time with lasting effects. What’s does that mean?  It means you were saved by grace through faith. To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to continue to walk the Christian life by faith trusting Jesus alone for deliverance from sin and sinful habits. Remember Martin Luther and the battle cry of the Reformation, “The just shall live by faith”? We were saved by grace through faith through the one-time death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Now we are to live the Christian life by faith in the same Jesus Christ, looking to Him to lead us through the decisions of life. Notice the title “Lord”.  Not just Jesus Christ but the Lord Jesus Christ. To put on Christ is to make Him Lord of: your eyes, your thoughts, your sex drive.. Put on Jesus as Lord of every part of your life. You aren’t in charge of your life, He is!!

Part two, Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts.The second half of the victory equation involves another command, “Make no provision.” This is a command to be continually done. We are to continually make no provision for the flesh. What does it mean to “make no provision for the flesh?” STARVE IT!!  DON’T FEED THE FLESH! The food of the flesh is sin. Stop feeding it with sin! You can starve it so it has no power over you.

How can you starve the flesh? Here are some examples of ways to starve the flesh: Starve it of time by keeping busy. Idle time is deadly. Starve it of emotion. When you are hurting, angry, lonely, tired, bored, or curious, don’t feed the flesh! Those are dangerous triggers to medicate your pain and elevate your mood. There are better alternatives such as: read and meditate on the Word, only permit yourself clean viewing and reading habits,  refuse to drink alcohol to numb your senses and lower your inhibitions, run from porn, run from sexual temptation (like Joseph of the Bible did when he was tempted in Egypt), have guardrails on your computer and cell phone, and maintain purity of mind by rejecting ungodly thoughts.


            How do you overcome sexual sin? God has given us the VICTORY EQUATION in His Word:

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:14)

First, put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Live by faith trusting Him to give you the strength and courage to stand firm against sexual sin. Second, make no provision for the flesh. What does the phrase “fulfill its lusts” mean? Lust is the longing for the forbidden. Without the food of sin, the flesh shrivels and becomes small and powerless. If we feed it by sinning, it grows stronger demanding to be fed more. It won’t be easy, no battle is, but you will overcome through the power of Christ.

Christ is the Victor,