by: Darren DePaul
"For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to you from doing the things you want to do" Galatians 5:17
The flesh, our sinful self, desires instant gratification and attention. It craves the approval of others, yet it wants freedom from accountability. The life in the Spirit, on the other hand, desires godliness and wants to bring attention to the glory of the Lord. It craves Jesus and wants to live in the freedom that only He brings.
Have you noticed this ongoing battle between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit? One moment you’re overwhelmed by your love for the Lord and the next moment you’re overcome with the desires of the flesh. This side of heaven, you will never be without sin. Everyday you must realize that the Christian life is a battle, the desires of your flesh are waging war against the desires of the Spirit.
Don’t surrender. Don’t give up. Don’t let the desires of the flesh overwhelm you. Don’t despair. In Christ you have been set free from the desires of the flesh! Moment by moment, as you submit to Christ and live in the Spirit, you’re pulled away from the selfishness of the flesh and you grow in godliness. Living in the Spirit enables you to rest in God’s love for you, empowers you to live in His grace, and equips you to battle against the desires of the flesh.
There is freedom and joy in following the Lord and not being overcome by the desires of the flesh. Will you fight not by yourself, but by the power of the Spirit? Will you fight not for yourself, but for Jesus? Life in Him is abundant and everlasting. Your selfish desires are fleeting and, in the end, bring pain and hurt. Following your sinful desires will leave you lonely and broken; those desires are insatiable ... they never rest and will eventually consume you.
But, there is a present and eternal rest in Jesus. He lived and died for you because He loves you. Submitting our lives to Jesus and living by the power of the Spirit frees you from your isolation, your brokenness, your self-centeredness, and your being controlled by the desires of the flesh. The moment by moment following of Jesus is the way of freedom, love and joy. Rest in Him, trust in His love for you, and live by the Spirit … He has changed you, and He will continue to change you, follow Jesus, follow the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He will overwhelm you with His grace.