Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The spirit that transforms
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”Gal. 5:16
There are two ways of living: one led by the Spirit and the other by the flesh. There is a constant battle between the two for dominion in our lives. When we live by the flesh, we strive to satisfy the desires of the sinful nature as mentioned in verses 19 through 21. This keeps us away from the kingdom of God. We must not allow the flesh to control over us or we will lose our control over ourselves and make the wrong choice. “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace…those who are in flesh cannot please God.”(Romans 8: 6, 8). Eve got enticed by the forbidden fruit, disobeyed God and lost the Garden of Eden. Esau lost his birthright for a bowl of soup. Samson’s lust for women made him give away the secret for his strength got his eyes gouged out and grinded in his enemy’s prison. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and got her husband Uriah murdered for which it cost him his own son’s life. Solomon worshipped idols in his old age and as a result Israel was divided in the time of his son. Ahab and Jezebel schemed and got Naboth killed to possess his vineyard. Finally they too met their death in the worst form. Gehasi’ greed for money earned him Naaman’s leprosy. Despite of being warned by the priests, King Uzziah’s pride, led him to burn incense in the temple for which he was stricken by leprosy for the rest of his life. Judas’ greed for money made him betray Jesus, and ultimately led to his suicide. Ananias and Sapphira lied about the price received from selling their land and met with their death. These are just a few examples of the carnal acts that gratified the desires of the flesh. Today we see many getting addicted to drugs and alcohol when they satisfy the desires of the flesh.
Apostle Paul instructed the Galatians to walk by the Spirit to avoid fulfilling the desires of the flesh. Paul and Silas walked by the Spirit, that is why they were able to sing praises unto God even when they were imprisoned and their shackles were broken and the prison door flung open. The Spirit resists the working of the flesh in us. The Spirit is the presence of God in our lives, carrying on the task of Christ. Since the Spirit is not limited by space or time, He can reach out to everyone. When we follow the guidance of the Spirit, we are investing in eternity. The Spirit helps us to manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter our mind. Actions follow the thoughts. The Spirit gives us the power to control over our ruthless emotions. For example anger can frustrate people to the point of causing harm to self and others.
Jesus did not leave us on our own. He has sent us the Spirit, to help us to navigate our journey. If we are empowered by the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. When we are guided by the Spirit, He reveals us of our sins, and convicts us of it. He reminds us of God’s standard and where we need to change. Repentance begins with understanding where we deviated from the right path. The Spirit will encourage us to confess our sins. God is graceful to forgive us when we approach Him with a contrite heart. The Spirit empowers and enables us to turn from our fleshly ways by putting our earthly nature to death and move towards righteousness, which we are unable to do on our own. God knows we are not perfect, but He accepts us when we confess our sins, surrender ourselves and our will to Him, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Gracious God, enable us to walk by the Spirit at all times, resisting the desires of the flesh. Amen
Thought for the day: The Spirit transforms us when we follow His lead.
Saramma Chacko, Epiphany MTC, NY