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Living According to The Spirit Part I
3/2/2009

Living According To The Spirit-Part I
    
    I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16-17 (NKJV)
    
    
    There are so many self-help books available to guide us to living a better life; and many people have an opinion as to what we need to do so we will have peace of mind.
    
    Q: But what does the Bible say about this?
    
    I think this is paramount to living a Christ-like life.
    
    The Bible teaches us, there are two ways to live our lives; either according to the flesh, or according to the spirit. Lets take a look at what each one entails so we can identify with our human nature.
    
    Q:What does it mean to live according to the flesh?
    
    A:It means that we live carnally or to feed the flesh, and the fleshly desires. We refer to this state as the Natural Man. This is how every one lives before without Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And we can even choose to live this way after we have made a profession of faith. It is a constant struggle between our Spirit and our flesh. And our mind is the thing which will determine who wins. We will look at this struggle in part II of this devotional, but first lets look at what the struggle is over.
    
    
    
    The Natural Man will have his desires fixed on Earthly things.
    He will be focusing on things such as food, drink, and sexual activities; where he is going to live, and work, and how to acquire more stuff.
    This is where the mind of the Natural Man is at, because the body or the Flesh is in control. So his mind is constantly thinking about the needs and desires of his body, and therefore, his priorities are on these things continually. When a man does this, he is no different than an animal, because animals are only concerned with the body needs.
    
    God knows that we have legitimate needs in our flesh, but without knowing the Lord, we will be inclined to seek these legitimate needs in an illegitimate way, or to put them first before our spiritual needs. We should be seeking God first and foremost in our lives, and then these things will be taken care of (See Matthew 6:33).
    Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 (NLT)
    
    But once the natural man is born again, then the Holy Spirit of God is in control of his life. He is now the Spiritual Man. When this happens, he is now concerned with spiritual things. He is no longer focused on the things of the flesh, but instead he will be focusing on his relationship with God. He will talk about the Lord, and how God is working in his heart. He will be praising God for what is happening in his life, and he will be looking for ways to serve the Lord.
    The man who is living after the spirit will realize he is related to God, and he is made in the image of God. He will seek to be in union with God daily and to walk in the Spirit of God.
    
    Once weve made the transition from the Natural Man, to the Spiritual Man, we have begun a new life in the Spirit. We no longer have to allow our flesh to control our behavior because we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the bondage of Sin in our mortal bodies.
    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; Acts 1:8 (NIV)
    But even though we have been given this gift of the Spirit, we will still have a body that seeks to fulfill its desires, and so we will have to come to the Lord in prayer daily for His help and the ability to overcome these temptations.
    
    In Part II of this devotional, we will look at this ongoing struggle, and why we are still wrestling with temptations.
    
    STUDY QUESTION: According to Galatians 5:16-17, how can we keep from fulfilling the lust of the flesh?
    
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you relate to the times in your life where you have not been seeking the Lord, and found that your desires for things in the world seem to be stronger?
    
    APPLICATION: Make a commitment within your life to seek the Lord daily, in reading the Word, and spending times in prayer.
    
    Father, Thank You for giving me an alternative to following the desires of my flesh. Help me today Lord by guiding me with Your Holy Spirit. Lead me in everything I do Father, so that it may bring glory to Your name. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott
    
    

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000