Walking By The Spirit
By Allen J. Huth, President of the Ezra Project |
Paul, in Galatians 5, tells to stand firm in the fact that Christ has set us free from the law. Paul asks in Galatians 5:7,”You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” Many start out their Christian lives well, but they fade quickly. Galatians 5:17 says, ‘For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Sprit are against the flesh, for these ae opposed to each other…” I suppose it’s a choice. Obey the flesh or the Spirit every day.
Walk by the Spirit, not by the law. Walking by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit helps prevent fulfilling the desires of the flesh. The desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit are opposites. We cannot go both ways, but it’s a constant battle. We are to set aside the desires of the flesh and express the fruit of the Spirit.” As in Galatians 2:20 we read earlier, “We are to crucify the ‘flesh with its passions and desire,’” according to verse 24 here, “and walk by the Spirit and live by the Spirit.” Now that’s all probably easier said than done, isn’t it.
So how’s your walk? Are you walking according to Galatians 5:1, in the freedom of Christ because Christ has set us free? Or are you still walking with the yolk of slavery? Slavery to sin and to the flesh? I think we probably all experience the battle that goes on in us between the flesh and the Spirit.
It’s a wrestling match, isn’t it, between our flesh and between our Spirit. And yet we see the fruit of the flesh, and it’s not very good. And yet we desire the fruit of the Spirit which would make our lives so much easier and so much more gratifying.
So what do we do? I think we take Paul’s advice. In Galatians 5:16 he says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Again Paul says in Galatians 5:25, “ If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
And we go back to Galatians 5:1 where he says, “…stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” And Paul continues his advice to us in Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
So what Paul is saying is, fight off the desires of the flesh and walk in the Spirit of God. Can we do it? Well, it’s not easy, but Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:24, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” So, as Christians, let’s live by the Spirit, let’s walk by the Spirit. Let’s enjoy the fruit of the Spirit which is, again, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Jesus, thank You for crucifying my flesh. Thanks for crucifying the passions and the desires of my flesh and filling me with the Holy Spirit when I came to saving faith in You. Now Lord, help me to continue to walk by the Spirit, to live by the Spirit so I can ward off the desires of the flesh and enjoy the fruit of the Spirit.
Lord, I know it’s not easy, but with Your help I can be victorious and I’ll give You the praise and the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.