Day 1: A Life Led by the Spirit
A Life Led by the Spirit
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In this passage, Paul is writing to encourage the church of the Galatians to live by the Spirit. He makes a strong distinction between what it means to live a life characterized by the Spirit in comparison to one lived by the flesh (our fallen human nature and its desires). Paul lists a few acts of those who live by the flesh, and if we read over this list we can all find ourselves somewhere on it, perhaps even more than once. Paul gives a stern warning to those who partake in such activities — an inability to inherit the Kingdom. For all of us who have spent time living by the flesh that warning can be discouraging, but in the Gospel we find hope.
The life of the Spirit is to replace and overcome the life of the flesh through the power of Christ’s crucifixion. Through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit working together, believers have the power to keep in step with the Spirit, or to walk by the Spirit. Walking gives us a sense of motion, of moving forward, with direction. But if we live a life by the flesh it is a life that is immobile, under the law. A life led by the Spirit is one of freedom and progress.
Spend a few moments thinking about what is holding you back from moving forward in the Spirit. It could be something that has made you feel frozen in place, or something that is simply slowing your pace. Whatever it is, as we seek to begin this journey of growing deeper in the Spirit, the power of the Spirit will help you remove it.
If we desire to grow in love, through the power of the Spirit, we need to begin removing the things that hold us back from a love characterized by the Holy Spirit within us.