When my first husband left me for another woman, he wanted to continue to direct my life. He felt it was his right to continue to come and go in the house where we used to live, though he had moved out with his girlfriend. I had to change the locks and make the boundaries clear. When he continued to dishonor them, I moved out of state.
So it is with our old lives. Though we have been freed from Satan, he wants to continue to control our lives. He would be delighted if he could ensnare us in a trap of earning our salvation, “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle.” The Holy Spirit calls such rules “self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body.” He says it appears spiritual but is actually death.
Indulgence of the flesh is what God warns against. It is a much broader requirement because it covers anything in the world that holds us bondage. The self-imposed religion limits itself to specific lists controlled only by our imagination. But God knows that anything can become bondage if we allow it to control us.
He calls us to freedom (I Corinthians 6:12; Colossians 2:20-23).