“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” Galatians 5:16 AMPC
Have you ever seen a pregnant woman who wasn’t showing yet? Regardless of how she looked at the time, it didn’t change the truth that she was pregnant. In the same way, you can have the seed of righteousness in you but still need to grow in the evidence of the work of the Spirit in you. You have been changed by the Spirit, but because you still live in this body, you must take intentional steps to make sure that you walk in the Spirit.
Over the last few days, you have learned that, as evidence of God’s Spirit in you, you can love, be joyful, be patient, and have self-control, among other things. This knowledge should make a difference. In the Epistles, we see the apostles’ repeated admonition for believers to walk worthy of the calling whereunto they were called (Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, I Thessalonians 2:12).
You were saved without any effort on your part and empowered by the Spirit (Philippians 2:12-13) to do the work of a mortician and further deaden what has already died in your flesh (Colossians 3:3, 5). It is your legal position that your old nature and sinful cravings are dead, so make it your vital reality by nurturing your spirit. You can exercise yourself unto godliness.
Your flesh and your spirit are at war, and it is what you feed more that has ascendancy (Galatians 5:17). There is a spiritual conditioning that makes it harder to give in to the flesh. This is what our anchor verse says, if we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfil the desires of the flesh. In the verses that follow, the apostle Paul said we should walk and have our conduct controlled by the Spirit, from whom we have our lives (Galatians 5:25).
You have the seed of righteousness in you, so cultivate it by the Spirit of God in you. Give time to studying the word, so that you will strengthen your convictions about who you have become in Christ, and spend time praying. Jude 1:20 says that when you pray in the spirit, you build yourself in the faith– you make your Spirit man stronger and more readily able to win the war against your flesh.
You may have noticed that when you spend time in devotion, you are more likely to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. You can overcome anger, jealousy, impatience, hatred, and all other workings of the flesh by the Spirit.
At the end of Romans 7, Paul, frustrated, talked for a while about his struggles with sin and his flesh. He ended his discourse in verse 25 with the conclusion that the answer is in Christ Jesus. Only a man in the flesh finds it difficult to control his actions (Galatians 5:24, Romans 6:12). You, dear believer, are not such a man. By God’s spirit, you can do better than your fleshly inclinations.
SAY THIS: I walk in the Spirit. I do not fulfill the demands of the flesh. I give myself to spiritual devotion and bear fruits consistent with my new life in Christ. I am saved, and it will show in my character.
Bible Reading Plan: Psalms 131, 138-139, 143-145