Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

The Holy Spirit – Day 19

Walking in the Spirit

Bible text(s)

The Spirit and Human Nature

16What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. 17For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do.

Galatians 5:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

Christianity is not for the faint-hearted. Christians are called to “not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This is a great challenge, as Christians have to actively choose to walk by the Spirit to live humble, submissive, loving lives which are full of mercy and justice and eradicate sinful ways, if truly in fellowship with God through forgiveness in Christ. We do this because “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship in him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

We live a world that is full of hatred, sadness, war, impatience, cruelty, evil, betrayal, harshness and self-indulgence — all things diametrically opposed to and in conflict with the qualities and the fruit of the Spirit. As Christians, we live in constant conflict with our sinful nature as we try to live with the love of Jesus in our hearts, guided by the Spirit, and ready to obey God’s Word. Even Paul felt this tension within him, which we see in his words: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19).

Does anyone not relate to this? We discover the joy of walking with the Spirit in our lives as He enables us to honestly acknowledge our situation and grow through it. The victory of walking in the Spirit is the dynamic relationship He enables us to have with God the Father, through Jesus the Son; not because we are perfect, but because we are forgiven and submitted to Him.

Through His working in us, we begin to see transformation in our natural selves. From the moment we acknowledge our weakness and our need of the Holy Spirit in prayer, we welcome His presence in our lives. He inspires us to spend time with God which helps to build our spiritual lives; God’s approval in our plans becomes important to us; we change and become willing to allow Him to transform our desires. As we clearly see answers to our prayers, we discover the joy of praying according to His will.

Most importantly, this strengthens our bond with Him and makes us want to stay close to Him; we recognise those wrong things that tempt us, or have a hold on us. The Spirit empowers us to choose right over wrong, love over hatred, grace over judgment and rewards us with the experience of the abundant life which Jesus died to bring to all those who follow Him.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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