When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 NLT
When I read this, I am reminded that as Christians, we are still at war with our flesh, even though we have been redeemed by His blood. Unfortunately, this is a battle that we will face continually in our life. Our flesh will always be with us, and with it, it can bring certain temptations and sins from our life before Christ. Paul is quick to point out that the “flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.” These are strong words and are indicative of the battle we face to continually crucify our flesh. Left unchecked, the flesh will engage in sinful works that are listed in verses 19-21.
When I think about the 3 forces that are against me, desiring to pull me down and away from God: the world, Satan, and my flesh, walking in the Spirit is not an option. It is an activity that I must be engaged in everyday; making a conscious decision to daily seek Him and be led by His Spirit away from old habits, old sins, old patterns of behavior. It’s not as hard as we make it out to be. And it will allow us to enjoy the wonderful fruit that he has promised us: love, joy, peace, long-suffering and self-control, to name a few.
Lord, let me understand this scripture in a deeper way, a more profound way, a more meaningful way. Help me to be led by Your Spirit on a daily basis and at the same time help me to crucify my flesh with its passions and desires, so I can enjoy the wonderful fruits of Your Spirit. Amen.
Rob Benedetti, Elder
White Oak Campus