If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Rom. 8:13)

CHERYL STRAYED RECOUNTS her thousand-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was an exciting adventure in which she met fascinating people and witnessed pristine beauty and encountered unthinkable dangers—culminating in a physical, mental, and emotional victory as she reached her destination. She describes the pain her body endured during this three-month journey, specifically the mangling of her feet; but from the comfort of the couch, we readers can easily overlook the difficulties as we revel in the victory. We don’t have to pay the price to feel the glory.

Sometimes we go into our spiritual journeys with the same expectation. We think it won’t hurt. We want to have the thrill of victory, but we don’t want to do the work. But putting something to death is never pretty—and to live, we must kill the misdeeds of the body. What are the “misdeeds of the body”? They are any desires that pull us from our path to victory. In our spiritual lives, we constantly come upon temptations that lead us away from our desire to serve others, to love others, to honor God, or to be holy. If we were hiking the PCT, the temptations might come in the form of cross trails that lead to town rather than onward. In our walk with God, each of us have different things that cause us to falter.

List things that tempt you away from faithfulness, then burn the list.

Lawrence W. Wilson is a pastor, author, blogger, and avid cyclist from Fishers, Indiana. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy (WPH).