Beyond the Gospels: Galatians

Read today’s Scripture: Galatians 5:16-26
[Click the reference to read online or open up your Bible to read the Word.]

Flesh versus Spirit. They are at odds, at conflict with each other. If you are walking in a way where you live for your natural desires then you can’t walk the way of the Spirit. If you walk the way of the Spirit, as our passage says, you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

I’ve heard the term “carnal Christian,” an oxymoron to be sure. But this word today reads to me like it’s not possible.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:24
If you belong to Him, then your flesh has died to its passions and desires which are always out of line with what the Spirit calls us to do.

This choosing to live by flesh or Spirit is a daily decision for us. Often moment by moment. But it’s clear, nothing in our flesh, our natural state working in its own power, leads to good. Our desires from the moment of conception are perverted and distorted.

Yes. Each of us are made in the image of God, but sin has marred every good thing He put in our flesh. ONLY by walking with the Spirit. ONLY by letting Him lead will we bear anything good for His kingdom.
Paul lists the “fruit” of both the flesh and the Spirit. Read them again.
Which one describes you?
If you find yourself on the carnal side more than the side of the Spirit you may need to consider what you really believe.
As long as we live in these bodies of flesh, we will deal with temptations and at times we will fall. But if we have had a true conversion experience our lives will be transforming, becoming more and more a picture of the fruit of the Spirit and less and less like the rest of the world.
When the Holy Spirit comes to reside in our hearts by faith in Christ Jesus, He begins to clean house. But He is gentle. When His still small voice convicts, we have a choice to make: my way or His way.
Let me tell you. From my experience there is no peace or joy when you choose your way over His. For a moment it may seem good, but in the end is misery.
Over my years (a couple of decades now) of following hard after Jesus, daily dying to some part of self, it has been a painful walk, but every moment has led me to a place where I truly do experience more joy and peace than ever before. The walk is worth it. I pray you’ll take up your cross today, deny your flesh, and choose to walk with the Spirit… no matter how hard…
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25
Father God, show me today the one step I need to take 
to begin walking with the Spirit in Jesus’s name.

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