In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
March 15, 2007 – Walking by the Spirit – Romans 13:12-14
Exercise is a requirement if you want to build muscle. Left alone, muscles become soft and weak. In the same way, our spirits suffer when they never face difficulty or struggle. Apart from the strengthening effects of pain and conflict, our faith would be weak and nearly useless. This is why God doesn’t remove our fleshly tendencies when we become Christians. He doesn’t want to change us immediately into perfectly obedient people. The tug of the flesh against our spirits gives faith a constant workout.
The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:16 that believers should “walk by the Spirit, and [they] will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” The Holy Spirit is our spiritual trainer committed to getting our spirit into good shape so we can resist temptations. Our goal should be to get on His exercise plan for healthy faith.
We must be fully persuaded that we can’t live the Christian life apart from the Holy Spirit. Until we grasp this truth, we’ll keep trying to live in our own strength and repeatedly fall back into sin. We’ll find ourselves confessing the same old failures time after time. But, if we surrender to God, the Spirit will show us how to have victory. We must ask the Holy Spirit to live through us, guiding us to make wise decisions and teaching us to love.
Surrender is a constant decision. Every new choice brings a fresh opportunity to submit to the guidance of the Spirit, rather than the temptation of the flesh. And each time we choose to walk with Him, our faith is strengthened.
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