So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
From the moment we were born, we find ourselves wrestling with the discomfort of living in the flesh. To maintain life in the body, we must clothe ourselves from the heat and cold, feed ourselves to stave off hunger, and we yearn for attention and human touch. There is no mistake about it, we have physical needs. As we get older, these needs intensifies and become more pronounced. The lesson our body tells us is, its needs are more important than anything else. So, when do we decide to stop listening to the flesh, and instead walk by the Spirit?
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The one need that develops as we mature is our sexual needs. It almost seem natural that, since we are used to feeding our bodies when we are hungry or thirty, we should do the same for this very great need. When the sexual need intensifies, it speaks louder than the pangs of hunger. To satisfy this need, therefore, one will go to great lengths- sinful or not. And what’s strange is that, once the body experiences satisfaction, the feeling quickly fades away without much appreciation. It’s like a hungry lion that swallows the food without so much as chewing the meal. The body has needs, and if you let them dictate your actions, you will quickly see that you will be driven to great lengths to satisfy it, and totally loose control of yourself. This is why the Apostle Paul says….walk by the Spirit. There is no other way to get around the need to gratify your every desires.
I know that we cannot do this on our own volition. Do you think you have a great amount of self-control? That’s great, but faced with the right kind of temptation, you will see how quickly self-control go out the door. Remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Those little children all had their weak points, whether they knew it or not. And Willy Wonka got them all, except one. Charlie was a poor boy who didn’t have much needs. He had been living in a state of lack his whole life, and resisting temptation wasn’t as difficult as it was for the other children. Have you considered what your weaknesses are?
For many it is food, for others it is alcohol, and for a lot of men, women is their biggest temptation. Rather than pretending that you are perfect (which you are in Christ), we better stop pretending to ourselves. Seeking help from the Holy Spirit and having an accountability partner will help you overcome the wildest of temptations. Depending on your self-control is not going to work when you are in the middle of a temptation. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit will steer you away from the temptation altogether. When we become stronger in the Spirit, “… the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace” (that’s an old hymn). So, like Paul I am strongly encouraging you to walk by the Spirit and not of the flesh. You really do not want to be trying to stave off sinful desires every moment of your life. To do this on your own is a loosing battle with the flesh. It becomes defeating and you won’t feel victorious as God wants us to be.
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Therefore, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When it comes upon you, you will become a new creature. One that is born again, this time, into the Spirit. That way, you won’t have to worry about gratifying the flesh daily. You will know that you have power over the flesh and power in this world. When we walk by the Spirit we are living by faith and we will know that we are made powerful “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).