I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 NABRE
Paul has been speaking about how Christians should live, particularly “you should love your neighbor as yourself.” It might seem like a line that is a tweet or bumper sticker, but there are real examples set forth by Jesus as to what it means to love your neighbor; the story of the Good Samaritan being one of the more famous. But Paul here goes on to speak about the “flesh,” meaning human nature’s tendency toward sin. We have a strong desire to be self-centered and self-serving. Paul knows we have this inner call to act in divine love and yet we tend to move toward disordered desires; we covet, lust, we seek out immediate satisfaction rather than ultimate, we seek pleasure rather than fulfillment, we desire things over people, images over intimacy and experience over exclusivity. Paul is telling us we have a weapon to fight these strong human desires, the Spirit who dwells in us. We can’t fight these desires of the flesh on our own, we need a helper, we require strength, our own strength is not sufficient. It is necessary to receive the inner power from God through the Holy Spirit, who is capable of overcoming the flesh. To be wise we should seek out the attentive and obedient prompting of the Holy Spirit, trusting in His power and availing ourselves of what it means to foster a life in the Spirit.
We may daily struggle or battle to avoid the sin of the flesh. But we do have a source of power within us in the Holy Spirit that can be called upon to help. Whenever we feel tempted to do something we don’t feel is right, simply speak within saying, “come Holy Spirit be my strength.”
Do you trust the Spirit of God? Do you call upon the Spirit in times of need?Whenever we feel tempted to do something we don't feel is right, simply speak within saying, 'come Holy Spirit be my strength.' Click To Tweet
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