Led by The Spirit
Read Galatians 5:16-18 (ESV)
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
How are Christians empowered to live out their faith?
Have you ever tried to live a holy life only to discover that your sinful nature (the flesh) still has a strong pull on you? If you answered yes, you are in good company. In Romans 7:18-19 Paul says, “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
It’s important for us to understand what Paul is saying here. We cannot experience victory over sin in our own strength. Like Paul, we lack the ability to do what is right. No matter how much we desire to please God, on our own, we are not strong enough to resist the magnetic pull of our sinful nature.
Thankfully, those of us who are in Christ are not left on our own. We have the Holy Spirit living within us! Today’s verse is such an encouragement. Paul says that if we walk by the Spirit and submit to His leading then we will not give in to our sinful desires. If we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we can experience victory over the flesh.
When a believer in Jesus Christ is walking by the Spirit, there will be evidence or “fruit” of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists these as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” This fruit is directly opposed to the evil and immoral works of the flesh that Paul lists right before in Galatians 5:19-21. As Christians, the Spirit empowers us and equips us to act in a way that glorifies God.
Friends, when we receive Christ and are reborn, our new nature and our old nature are at odds with each other. But we do not have to fight this battle against our flesh in our own strength. If we surrender control and walk by the Spirit's leading, He empowers us to win the fight.
God, I want to experience victory over sin and the desires of my flesh. Help me to surrender my will to Yours. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit so that I can walk out my faith in obedience to You and do what is right. Amen.