Kris Lundgaard, in The Enemy Within:
Which is easier: to sit with a bucket of butter-soaked popcorn and watch Tom Cruise on the big screen for two hours, or kneel and pray for five minutes? Tom Cruise wins hands down, because there is literally no competition. What the flesh hates is God, so it resists anything that smacks of God — especially communion with him. The flesh can curl up by your side and watch mindless movies all night long. But let even the barest thought of meditations flutter into your mind, and the flesh goes to Red Alert. Before you get past “Our Father,” your eyes, which were glued to the screen, now sag in sleepiness, and your attention, which was so fixed on the plot, now zips around the universe faster than the Starship Enterprise.
The flesh’s hatred of God explains a lot. Think about worship. In its essence, worship is high communion with God, and so the flesh should cringe at the door of the sanctuary. But what if a person wants to perform the outward forms of worship without approaching God in his heart? He may want to do his duty in worship, like a Pharisee looking for brownie points with God. Or he may like the music at church because it rocks. Or maybe just being in a church building makes him feel secure. Will the flesh lift a finger to excommunicate that kind of worshiper?
You can feel the hostility of the flesh whenever you approach God — it makes real love for him into work: Digging around the Bible to find a juicy new insight to impress your small group is like sailing the Caribbean, but poring over the Scriptures to find the Lover of your soul is like skiing up Mount Everest. Conjuring up a happy mood with some music you don’t even know the words to is like solving 2 + 2 with a calculator. But savoring the glory of Christ and his tender love until your heart is softened toward him is like using mental math to calculate pi to the thousandth place. And giving a birthday present to your best friend is like forcing down some double-fudge brownies. But giving up your extra bedroom to a homeless person in the name of Jesus is like eating the Rockies for breakfast. [pp. 46-47]