Devotional: Spiritual Conflict—Part 2

Christian Devotion about depriving of power the desires of the flesh



But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do.
- Galatians 5:16-17 (AMP)

Galatians 5:16 says that as we walk habitually in the Holy Spirit, seeking Him and being responsive to His guidance, it is then that we will certainly not carry out the desires of the sinful nature. Therefore, as we walk according to the Spirit, we are then automatically not carrying out the desires of the flesh—in this way, we are 'crucifying the flesh'.

In Galatians 5:24 it says that those who belong to Christ Jesus (so all Christians), have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. We crucify the 'sinful' nature as we walk habitually in the Holy Spirit, because by walking and living by the Holy Spirit we are not catering for our sinful desires—we're denying them, we're depriving them of power and putting them to death (Col.3:5). It is in doing this that the sinful desires will then lose its grip and fall away, and they will then no longer be a desire within us, they will be gone (v 24-25; Rom 6:6; Rom.8:13). We will, in fact, discover that we no longer have those sinful desires—it won't be who we are anymore.

Prior to becoming a Christian, I had a drinking problem. I clearly remember one day (as a new Christian), walking home from work and having a strong desire for a drink, but as thoughts of God flooded my mind and I set my mind on thinking of Him, by the time I got home, the desire for a drink had completely gone! The desires of the flesh can go (no matter how strong they are), as we intentionally set our mind on God and allow Him to consume our thoughts in that moment. The more we do this, the more the sinful desires weaken and fall away altogether, but we need to be consistently doing this—habitually.

The crucifying of the sinful nature is outworked by choosing to walk according to the Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to have His way in us and allowing Him to lead us. He will never lead us into temptation and sin—He leads us away from temptation and out of sin. The more we 'yield' to the Holy Spirit, the more the desires of our sinful nature will be deprived of power and in so doing, will be put to death—permanently crucified!

And this is how we 'walk in the Spirit'!

© By M.S.Lowndes

Additional Scriptures:

Galatians 5:24-25 (AMP)

Matthew 26:41 (AMP)

Romans 8:5 (AMP)

1 John 5:18 (AMP)

1 John 3:9 (AMP)

Romans 8:12-13 (AMP)

Romans 7:6 (AMP)

Romans 6:6-7 (AMP)

Romans 6:11 (AMP)

Romans 13:14 (AMP)


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