In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
March 14, 2007 – The Struggle of the Flesh – Galatians 5:16-26
Modern culture encourages doing whatever comes naturally, without any regard for the consequences. But the apostle Paul said those who live with the Holy Spirit, believers, are at war with “the flesh.” Although we’ve been given a new spirit and heart, we’re still in our flawed and imperfect human bodies. This means we can still be tempted by desires outside of the Lord’s will.
Unfortunately, some Christians believe victory over flesh is a one-time deal. Back when Dr. Stanley was a boy learning about biblical principles, he says no one explained that Christians conquer sin moment by moment. When he heard talk about sanctification and “doing away with sin,” Dr. Stanley thought that one day, later in life, he’d have a spiritual experience that would rid his life of temptations. Sadly, some people’s faith never grows past waiting for that “magic” event. And, in the meantime, they’re frustrated by their failure to be good Christians.
Even after three years in the constant company of Jesus, the disciples couldn’t live the Christian life on their own. Knowing they were too weak in the flesh to faithfully teach the Gospel or set a godly example, Jesus commanded them to wait for the Holy Spirit. This third person of the Trinity provided them with strength, guidance, and wisdom. Nothing has changed. Apart from God’s Spirit, we cannot overcome fleshly desires and live in God’s will. But, with the Spirit, we’re assured of fulfillment and peace as we serve the Lord.
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