Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flesh vs. Spirit

Do you ever find yourself trying to justify something that you know is wrong? - You maybe try to play with it in your head a little bit until you convince yourself that its not THAT bad. Does that sound familiar at all? Every now and then we need a little reminder of the things that the Lord does and doesn't approve of. And the thing we need to realize when we look at these things is that they're all definites - meaning that there is no gray area when it comes to these things... They're either wrong or they're right.

In Galatians chapter 5, Paul gives us a list of things which are associated with the lust of the flesh and then gives us a list of things associated with the spirit. He writes:
"I say then: Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh... now the works of the flesh are evident, which are;
1. adultery
2. fornication
3. uncleanness
4. lewdness
5. idolatry
6. sorcery
7. hatred
8. contentions
9. jealousies
10. outbursts of wrath
11. heresies
12. envy
13. murders
14. drunkenness
... Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." I don't know about you, but when I look at this list and really break each one down in my head, I say to myself, "Wow, I'm guilty of quite a few of these!" We have to realize that these are wrong and they will NEVER be right.

As for what we should be practicing, Paul goes on to write;
"But the fruit of the spirit is;
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Longsuffering
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self-Control
... if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit..." These things are RIGHT and will never be wrong.

Look at these two lists. Find one thing from the first list that you know you're struggling with. Then pick one thing from the second list that you might not have enough of in your life. Here's what we should try to do: Whenever we're tempted to do the thing we picked out from the first list, counter it with the thing you picked from the second list. For instance, if you're struggling with hatred or envy for somebody, the next time you're around that person, practice love around them and try and say something nice or pay that person a compliment. It is definitely a difficult task, but if we want to diligently seek God, we have to practice the works of the Spirit - rather than the lusts of the flesh.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for reminding me once again that my "self control" will keep "in check" my thoughts and actions each minute of the day.
    Good passage.

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