‘The Spirit and your desires are enemies.’ Galatians 5:17 CEV
The Bible says: ‘If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies… always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should.’ (Galatians 5:16–17 CEV) Sound familiar? Here are four keys to winning the daily battle between your old and new natures.
(1) Be honest. Acknowledge that your flesh will always crave satisfaction in the wrong things—and it never takes a day off.
(2) Be humble. Acknowledge that you’re powerless to win the battle without God’s help. By committing yourself to God, you draw on His strength in those first crucial moments of each test. And your ability to do that will grow as you practise this spiritual discipline. The closer you draw to God, the stronger you become when faced with temptation and trouble.
(3) Be disciplined. This is a personal matter; no one else can do it for you. Paul writes, ‘Don't let sin rule your body… don’t obey its desires.’ (Romans 6:12 CEV) If someone else has to restrain you, it doesn’t work!
(4) Be alert. As a soldier David should have known better, but Satan caught him off guard with his defences down. As a result he ended up committing adultery with Bathsheba, then having her husband put to death in an attempt to cover it up. Maybe you think it couldn’t happen to you. Paul, the greatest of the apostles, wrote, ‘I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.’ (1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV)
SoulFood: Gen 11:1–9, Phil 2:1–11
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023