Galatians 5:16-25 is perhaps the most exciting verses in the whole New Testament because they give a very clear description of what happens in our struggle against sin and the flesh (our human nature) that works against the plan and purpose of God. We must stop thinking that the battle against the flesh, sinful desires and all the forces of Satan can be overcome by our own strength.
There is a mental game we play. We almost always over estimate what we can do in our fight against sin. We look back at past victories and think the current battle can be won the same way as previous battles. That is why Paul says in the next chapter, “do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” We deceive ourselves and miss the current victory that comes alone through the Holy Spirit because we leave Him out as our first defense!
First, you must believe by faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and that He has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit as God’s power to overcome sin, the flesh, and temptations.
Second, you must believe that the Spirit dwells/lives in you all the time, 24/7. Let me clarify this point so there is no misunderstanding.
· When you come home from work or shopping, you don’t walk into your house and say to your wife or husband, “who are you?” Children come home from school or playing with friends and don’t say to Mom, “who are you?”
· Do we need to be reintroduced to the Holy Spirit living in the believer because we have allowed sin to make Him a stranger to us? He is right there with you! He sees and hears everything! Have our life styles confined Him to Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
· Twice in Paul’s letters to the churches he emphatically states; “DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD” (Eph. 4:30) and “DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT” (1 Thess. 5:19). Think about how often you and I have “grieved” God the Spirit who lives in us by our motives, thoughts, words and actions. The word “quench” refers to putting out His fire in us. There are divine plans God has for us, but we keep saying, “No, No, No” in our hearts!
What is the solution to this treatment of the Spirit as if He is a stranger to us.
Ø First, we must acknowledge His presence in us.
Ø Second, we must acknowledge that He is God.
Ø Third, we must ask Him to take control.
With the Holy Spirit, we do not wage war against sin and the desires of the flesh on our own. Paul makes this point in 2 Cor. 10:3-5; “For though we walk in the flesh (this human body), we are not waging war according to the flesh (the human way of doing things). For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (the human way of doing things) but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” “Walk in the Spirit [be] led by the Spirit!” THIS IS THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT AVAILABLE AT ANY MOMENT!!
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