Many Christians today quickly turn to manmade things in an attempt to achieve victory over the flesh, just as Israel did. One glaring example is the vast number of self-help books found on the shelves of Christian bookstores. Literally thousands of books promise surefire ways of improving, appeasing and subduing our flesh. Indeed, everywhere we turn we are offered fleshly options to all our needs. Churches promise anointed revival meetings where all our spiritual needs are fulfilled by a prayer or a touch. Evangelists offer instant deliverance, instant healing, instant words from God.
The truth is, God gave Israel the option of choosing Him or the flesh in the midst of their situation. He said, "Go ahead and exercise your own will. Dig deeply into your inner man, study your books, plan your strategies, do everything you know how to do. But you will still be leaning on the arm of the flesh. None of your efforts will bring you one moment of victory."
The more I study God's Word, the clearer it becomes to me: All human striving for deliverance from sin is doomed to fail. God will let us go through the wringer time after time, until we are totally convinced we must die to all efforts of the flesh.
When Israel attempted to defeat their powerful enemy through human power, God immediately denounced the effort: "Both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen [helped] shall fall down, and they all shall fail together" (Isaiah 31:3). God's Word declares in very clear language that all victory depends on Him alone. Only He has the power to deliver us from our enemies.
You may have a godly will, a solid moral background, an unpolluted mind. In fact, you may be one of the cleanest people walking this earth, but the Bible says that none of your human gifts or abilities will ever work against the devil. You will always fail by your own efforts.
If you are in the midst of an overwhelming struggle, you must learn the word God gave to Zechariah: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord" (Zechariah 4:6).