For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other… Galatians 5:17a
In his letter to Christians in Galatia, Paul makes it clear the struggle between our flesh and the Holy Spirit within us is very real. By using the word “flesh,” Paul isn’t saying what is physical is bad. Instead, he’s referring to the part of us that resists God and tries to get what God says is wrong. Paul also wrote, “the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God” (Romans 8:7).
Our flesh wars with God to satisfy us with anything—and everything—besides him. It resists God through eating or drinking to feel better, tearing down people who get in our way, luring someone who isn’t our spouse or stealing what we want but can’t afford. Our flesh rebels against the authority of God to get what it wants.
Not all our desires are hostile toward God, but all Jesus-followers will experience some desires that are. Accepting Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins means we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). This presence of God in us wars with our flesh to guide us away from choosing what is wrong. Culture sides with our flesh by telling us to indulge in all our desires. God wants us to indulge in what he says is right.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Recognizing you’re in a battle is where victory over ungodly desires begins. Pray today, “Father, please open my eyes to see and admit there is a battle going on to pull me away from you. Help me recognize it and choose what is right. Amen.”
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.