Living by the Spirit
St. Andrews MTC, NY
16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.
Years ago I heard a story about the son of King Louis XVI of France that has always stuck with me. During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was deposed and imprisoned and his son, Prince Louis XVII, was also taken captive by the revolutionaries and brought to a place far away. These people exposed the young prince to foods, of which the richness would quickly make him a slave to appetite. They used vile and vulgar language around him 24/7, and exposed him to lewd and lusting women. His captors would show him dishonour and distrust, and for 6 months exposed the young prince to things that would slowly destroy his soul. However, after six months, the young prince did not buckle under the temptation and pressure. The young prince could have partaken in many things that would have provided him pleasure, satisfy his lusts, and were desirable…but he did not. When his captors asked him why he did not submit to these desires of the flesh, he answered, “I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be a King.” (The King’s Son by Bishop Vaughn J Featherstone).
In chapter 5, verse 24 of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we see Paul write that “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” As Christians, we have to remember,that we have been called to be “in” the world, but not “of” the world (John 15:19). Much like Prince Louis XVII, we live in a world where we are constantly told and tempted to do what we want and partake in a variety of worldly pleasures that satisfy our fleshly desires. If you watch some music videos, you’ll see how some artists portray that with money and power they can satisfy their flesh with beautiful women, expensive cars,houses, jewelry, and have parties full of alcohol and other drugs. The world teaches that the sole purpose in life is to do what is necessary to satisfy your fleshly desires.
1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world…For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” Paul lists many acts of the flesh in Galatians 5, such as sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, envy, drunkenness, etc. Those who live in such a way, Paul warns, will never inherit the Kingdom of God. However, as Christians, we should walk and live by the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit as listed in verse 22, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithTHOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Set apart in the world to bear the fruit of the Spirit for the entire world”fulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have been set apart from the rest of the world by God and chosen to be a holy nation and a royal priesthood. As God’s chosen people, we must remember that we cannot do whatever we want because we were born to be Kings and Queens in His heavenly kingdom.
Lord, we thank You for anointing us to be Your holy people here in this world. Help us to remember that we are in the world, but not of this world and thus to not seek what the world offers. Teach us to walk by the Spirit so we can bear fruit for Your heavenly Kingdom. Amen.