God's Spirit Gives You a New Set of Desires
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But, because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:3-5).
Something amazing happens to every person who responds through faith to the Gospel, and it happens the very moment of salvation. The Bible describes it as new birth or being born again of the Spirit. This is the point in time when God makes you alive together with Christ Jesus and then sends his Spirit to take up residence in your heart. God lives in you – let this amazing truth soak in!
You know he is there because God’s Spirit gives you a new set of desires called the desires of the Spirit. Now these desires are in conflict with the desires of the flesh. We know all about that conflict. When someone wrongs us, the desire of the flesh is to get even; however, the desire of the Spirit is for us to forgive just as God, in Christ, forgave us.
Certainly the desire to forgive the person who wrongs you doesn’t originate with you. God’s Spirit places that desire in your heart. And when you forgive, you do not carry out the desire of the flesh to get even. “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Even though the desires of the flesh are there, as a child of God you do not have to give in to them.
Before you were saved and made new in Christ, following after the desires of the flesh was the only option on the menu. Paul stated this clearly in his letter to the Ephesians: All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were “by nature deserving of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). During those days, sin was your master.
But, that relationship was broken when you were made alive in Christ. God’s Spirit is now in control and you are to be led by Him.
The most amazing aspect of salvation is that you have crossed over from death to life. Think about that — you are alive together with Christ and He is alive living in you. You are a new creation, re-created to live a new life. A new life that genuinely expresses the desires of the Spirit through faith in the One who loves you and gave Himself for you.
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