A Daily Battle
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Galatians 5:19-26 NLT
Paul gives us a great contrast of what it is like to live according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. Our sinful flesh is in a battle with the Spirit.
Paul says followers of Christ “have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” This makes me think of Jesus telling us that as His followers, we must pick up our cross daily. The crucifixion of our passions and desires of the sinful flesh is not a one-and-done act. It is a daily decision to follow the Spirit’s leading every day.
It appears to me that the evidence of whether I am living according to the flesh or the Spirit is in how I relate to others. Being conceited, divisive, or jealous shows I am being controlled by the flesh, not the Spirit.
News flash—being led by the Spirit will greatly improve every relationship in my life. I will be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. If these mark my life, then people are going to enjoy being around me. I won’t have to work at getting people to like me—they will be attracted to me because they will sense the Spirit in my life. (Even though some folks won’t know it is the Spirit because they haven’t been born again yet.)
My job is to daily crucify the flesh through the power of the Spirit dwelling in my life.
Holy Spirit, I want You to dwell in me and control every attitude and action of my life. Help me today to crucify the flesh and live in the resurrected power of the Spirit.
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