“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust [desires] of the flesh [sinful nature]. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:16-17).
every believer's battle published week of jUNE 27, 2021
I remember an elementary school science project from years ago involving water and oil. It was the experiment where you pour oil into water and try to mix the two together. Don't ask me how old I was but I can vividly remember that no matter how hard I tried to shake or stir the two liquids, they would never separate. Why? Because oil and water just do not mix.
Picture your physical body as the container. Inside, as a child of God, you have the living water of Christ – the Holy Spirit. But you also have a sin nature (also called the flesh). This is a good picture of each person's Christian life because just like oil and water, these two will never mix.
However, I could take it one step further, not only do they not mix, they are opposed to one another. What the Holy Spirit desires, the sin nature will set itself against, and vice versa. At times it can feel like an agonizing game of tug-of-war as the Spirit pulls towards holiness while the sin nature yanks your conscience towards the desires of your flesh. It is no wonder that Paul describes it as a conflict of strength in verse 17. And as long as you live in this body, the conflict will remain unresolved.
Unfortunately, some Christians have been misinformed, or uninformed about this struggle between the Spirit and the sin nature. There are some believers who find themselves beat down in defeat and discouragement, constantly frustrated, all because of the battle that rages within their hearts and minds. It helps to remember that the battle itself is not sin. In fact, the battle is inevitable for every child of God. However, the good news is that we now have the freedom in Christ to make a choice. We are not slaves to our sin nature. We can choose to go with Christ, even when the sin nature pulls against us. The Spirit is stronger!
So, instead of fixating on the battle, let’s focus our hearts on Christ, our Deliverer. When we choose to yield control to His Spirit, He will always lead us away from sin, and closer to the heart of God.
“Lord Jesus, thank You that You have overcome sin on my behalf. Thank You for giving me Your Spirit to lead me each day. Please help me to choose each moment to live and be controlled by Your Holy Spirit so that I may bring glory to You. Amen.”