Do you ever desire to do good, but then just don’t? You want to make the right choices, nonetheless you make the wrong ones. I have a very important question for you: who or what decides what the right choices are for you? Be honest with yourself, is it God and the Bible, or you and culture?
As people who call God their Lord, there are only two ways to live: being led by the Spirit of God or led by the god of self.
Personally, I have lived my Christian life both ways. In previous years I regarded God and His Word, but picked and chose what I wanted to do and what part of the Bible I would obey.
This was not the deliberate way I had decided to live, but more the quiet unspoken choice I made. I figured that it was all good and God would understand; after all, being a Christian and following God’s way was hard. Not. In reality I was double-mined and lived according to my own desires.
After years of living that makeshift sort of Christianity, God in His mercy got a hold of me. The truth came to the light; my life was not about me and I was not free to pick and choose what part of Gods ways I would follow. God showed me it was a matter of living in the Spirit versus the soul.
The soul consists of the mind, will and emotions. Mainly, when we think about living in the soul we are talking about the will—stubborn self-will.
Another way to look at it is living in the flesh or in the sinful nature. The flesh is not the soul, but living according to the flesh is equal to living governed by a stubborn self-will.
The Bible tells us the Spirit and the sinful nature are always at war. Galatians 5:16-18 says it this way…
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”
So what’s the answer? How do we win this never-ending battle?
It’s a matter of harnessing the will. That’s done by crucifying the flesh and its passions, and believing that the cross and the blood of Jesus are powerful enough to transform us, therefore giving us the ability to overcome in every situation.
Galatians 5:19-23, gives us a list of the evidence of living in the soul and the fruit of living in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:24-26 articulates,
“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Be encouraged, you do not have to live in the soul! By the power of the cross you can live in the Spirit and fulfill the desires of the Spirit!