“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” – Galatians 5:17
Yielding in things that we do not want seems like a very impossible thing to do. We really hate to low down our pride and let something take over us. However, this only occurs when we are against something or someone but if it is something we want to have, our pride does not even matter, what matters the most is our wants and our lusts over something. It is very easy for us to yield into something we want but it is very hard for us to yield over something we know is right but not something we want.
Now, our verse today reminds us about something we don’t want and something we want. However, that something we want is something that is not right and that something we don’t want is something that is right. Indeed, like Paul, we are struggling to fight against our old nature. When we were born in this fallen world, our flesh was intertwined by the sinful flesh of the Adamic nature. We are descendants of Adam, and so, we acquired his sinful nature from the beginning of time.
However, Christ died for us and has saved us from this sinful and fleshly desires, He has given us new hope, a new body and made us born again. By that, we are now given a new spirit which is the Spirit of God that only wants us to do the right thing and to follow Christ’s example of righteousness throughout our whole stay here in the world. Yet, this is not easy because our old sinful nature will always try to fight against the new nature that we have.
Just as how our verse today, the fleshly desires are contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit is contrary to the fleshly desires. There is indeed a raging war happening inside our body and mind. Whether we yield again to our sinful and fleshly desires or we let the Spirit of God dwell on us richly so that we will be able to say no to our sinful desires. So, God is telling us to always remember that we should not follow what we want but we should follow what God wants us to do.
The Spirit and the sinful desires are in conflict with each other, we ought not to trust what we want because we can be deceived by this. We admit it or not, we know deep inside our hearts, we really desire the sinful ones. It is what we want since we are living in this sinful world, but God has given us power and strength to rise above those wants and not to yield. The moment Christ died on the cross for us, He has also bestowed us the power and the strength to say no to sin. Although we are still wanting to sin, it does not give us the license to go back to our sin and death cycle life. His grace and mercy should be our drive not to sin and to say no to our sinful desire.
Therefore, we must always remember that all of us Christians are facing an everyday battle inside of us. We have to remember that we are all struggling to continue to be on the path that God has set before us because of the old nature we have. May we remember not to yield on the temptation but instead pray to God for strength and power to fight against it. Even if the Spirit and our old nature is contradicting one another, may we always let the Spirit win and take over our lives. May we always walk by the Spirit so that we will not be tempted to yield into the darkness again.
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