How can a believer overcome the lusts of the flesh? The answer is that he must walk by the Spirit. The believer, by faith, relies upon the Holy Spirit to be the means by which he overcomes.
The lusts of the flesh are at war with the Spirit. The Christian life is a life of war. The Spirit is at war with the flesh. The flesh is everything in us that is profane and godless. In a believer it is the residual of what ruled before we came to Christ. It is what must be put down daily.
So what do we do we flesh this out? We consciously yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit for the duration of our lives. This thinking and meditating keeps us focused on him. We yield to his direction for our lives. We yield in the unexpected. When something comes up, out of the ordinary, take a moment to consult the Spirit’s wishes. It is precisely in the unusual that we default to old-man categories of fleshly lusts. Take a moment to listen.
We also hear his pleasure for us in the long term. We live too random and too fast, so fast that we can’t hear him. We would do well do slow down and listen to what the Spirit says to us individually as to what he wants in place for our lives. We are speaking here of rhythms, not shortcuts and erratic bursts of fervor.
Focus on the fruit of the Spirit. It is this agreeing and tasting that provides the soul with the food it needs to live. The fruit of the Spirit is of the Spirit. Think about it, meditate on it, and live it.
Finally, may we not forget Paul’s overarching argument in Galatians? Salvation and sanctification both happen by faith. Trust in the Spirit just as you trusted Christ for salvation. Your sanctification literally depends on it. We must consciously distinguish between us winging it or the trusting in him.
See Galatians 5:16-25
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