Not listening to the desires of my flesh is difficult. It is so easy to be selfish in my actions and thoughts and to want only what I want. Sometimes I even get so caught up in it I become blind to how flesh focused I have become. In these verses, Paul plainly tells the Galatians: "walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" In my Bible, the title above these verses says "Keep in Step with the Spirit"-that is what Paul is calling the Galatians to, and us as well. To keep in step with the Holy Spirit.
A life that is closely following the Holy Spirit and its guidance can only make decisions and actions that reflect the Holy Spirit--isn't that what we all want as Christians? A life that reflects Christ in all we do? Without the Holy Spirit, we would never have a way to silence and quiet the desires of our flesh (sinful nature), and we would have no hope of freedom from our flesh. But because of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we have full freedom from being a slave to our flesh and a hope in something (aka someone, Jesus) other than ourselves. The only way to win the war against your flesh is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This hope in someone other than ourselves is so important because our lives are not going to be easy. Being a Christian in this world is very hard. God knew it would be, which is why when Jesus left this earth He gave us His Holy Spirit to help us. Now, it is up to us to choose whether or not we are going to use the best tool God gave us. Are we going to chose to cry out to the Holy Spirit for help and for a guiding light? Or are we going to try and do things by ourselves? Take a moment today and ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you. God honors our questions and comes when we ask for help. He doesn't ignore us.
God, thank you for knowing I would need guidance and help. Thank you for giving me Your Holy Spirit to live inside of me and dwell in me. Please teach me to call out to You when I am feeling weak or when I'm in trouble, but to not stop there. Give me the grace to cry out to You even when times are going great. Keep me humble and guide my steps so that my life reflects You in all parts. Amen.
- Alex Raines