Flesh vs. Spirit
Galatians 5: 19, 22
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious…Hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage…. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
There is a war raging everyday inside each of us —the war between our sinful nature (or flesh) and the life of a Spirit filled Christian. Our sinful nature tends to give into jealousy and discord, whereas a life walking after the Spirit goes toward peace. Every day we have to make a choice as to which path we will walk: the path of the flesh or the path of the Spirit. It sounds like an easy choice, until life smacks us in the face. When our in-laws give unwanted advice, it is so easy to walk toward discord instead of choosing peace. We falsely believe that if we choose peace, we are “giving in” and allowing them to walk all over us. We think to ourselves, “I need to put my foot down.” Choosing peace feels like we are rolling over and dying.
Walking after the Spirit does not mean you are rolling over and dying. You are however, acknowledging that God’s way trumps flesh, even when it doesn’t make sense. You can walk in peace with others and still have boundaries. When your in-laws offer unwanted advice, your reply could be, “I will keep that in mind while making my decision.” You have not given in, and you are maintaining peace. Peace is always better than discord. What does discord give you? An ulcer.
As you go about your day today, decide, which path am I going to choose? It’s not hard to figure out, but it is hard to stay on the path. You can only walk with the Spirit while abiding with Christ. Without Christ, you will not bear any fruit. (John 15)
Father, I need You. No matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I work, I cannot live the Christian life the way I should without You. God, I need You! I need to walk with You everyday, learn from You, listen to You, and obey You. Then, and only then, will I bear the fruits of the Spirit. Today, I choose You.
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