Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Galatians 5:17

What controls my life? What wants to control my life? According to the Apostle Paul, there are only two possible answers for believers: the flesh or the Spirit. Galatians 5:17 says, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Ever been caught in the middle of a big fight? That's exactly where every believer finds him/herself as the Holy Spirit and our flesh duke it out for control of our lives. It seems strange to think of the Holy Spirit lusting. We normally associate lust as something dirty and secretive. The Greek term translated lust means to desire against or to protest against something. This means 2 things: 1) Our flesh actively protests against God's will and desires control of our lives, and 2) The Holy Spirit actively protests against our flesh and desires control of our lives. Like Paul says, these are obvious opposites. The result? - doing what you want to do always seems impossible. Our sinful flesh only wants us to do evil - and God's Spirit protests. God's will is for us to be Holy Spirit led - and the flesh protests.

What do we do? Paul teaches that we must commit to walking in the Spirit before we face the moment of temptation. It is much easier to follow God's leadership prior to our moments of weakness than if we decide how to act in the heat of temptation itself. When we wait until the temptation is the strongest to cry out to God, we will almost surely fail. It's like throwing a "hail mary" during the fleeting moments of a football game. Almost a sure sign that you're going to lose. "Lord, I am commiting to walking in the Spirit today. Help me to stay focused and sincere as I serve you."

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