I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16&17
There is an on-going battle between the Spirit and the flesh in every believer; both are contrary to each other. The Spirit opposes the flesh and its evil influences and the flesh resists the Spirit and His good influence. Whoever wins the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit will determine what direction a man’s life will take.
Apostle Paul revealed in Romans 7:18-20, that the flesh is the sin principle within man. It is carnality and sensuality, i.e. being sense-ruled, lacking spiritual discernment and having an unrenewed mind. The flesh is often used to describe the bodily appetites, propensities, and passions, which draw men away from yielding themselves to God and to the things of the Spirit. It is the embodiment of human will opposed to the will of God. Also, it is a way of thinking that leads to bad decisions which then leads to failure; since in the flesh realm your emotions rule you.
Today’s passage clearly outlines the works of the flesh, and as forewarned in the Scriptures, those who sow to their flesh cannot please God, they would only reap corruption, and they would be slaves to sin which ultimately results in death (Galatians 6:7-8, Romans 6:16). But, as we know, it is not God’s will for us to live and make choices that would lead us to destruction. So, for every temptation we encounter to sow to our flesh there is also a way of escape for us not to yield to the temptation; the final outcome depends on our choices – to obey the flesh or listen to the Spirit.
Walking in the Spirit is a mindset. It is a mind set on the Word of God. You never do anything unless you set your mind to do it, so also, until there is a conscious effort to live by the Word of God, you will constantly fail at walking in the Spirit. The moment you decide as a Christian for a mindset that is not of the Spirit, you have decided for the flesh. However, we can have victory over the flesh and live above its desires because we have been crucified with Christ, sin no longer has dominion over us and the Holy Spirit our Helper empowers us to live godly lives.
Victory over the flesh concludes in the next episode…
+ In what areas do you find yourself struggling in the flesh?
+ What is the thought pattern that always leads to the point where you yield to the flesh?
+ Have you consciously submitted that area of struggle to the Holy Spirit for His help to overcome it?