Walk by the Spirit and you will NOT fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
This is one of the most useful verses in the Bible for me. I remind myself of this often. Sadly, most people who say they believe in the name of Jesus Christ as Lord is not familiar with this passage or the ones surrounding it. If they were their lives would reflect something far different then what they do.
In Galatians 5 Apostle Paul is writing to those who are attempting to be justified by the law and circumcision, a doctrine of works. We are justified by the blood of Christ and no other way, but if we have indeed received Jesus into our lives as Supreme Authority and Controller, which is what Lord means, our lives will reflect it. Paul goes on to say “a little leaven leavens the whole batch.” Leaven is yeast and yeast represent sin; yeast causes the whole batch of dough to rise up. When false teachings, such as was the case here, are being presented to a group of people it can spread like fire and contaminate everyone.
Paul commended the people for running well (Gal 5:7) but wanted to know what or who bewitched them. What in the world made them think the doctrine of keeping the law of works was effective for their salvation? Paul was not only frustrated in his words to the Galatians church, but he was deeply grieved and disappointed. He even stated that he wished those who were misleading the people of God would cut themselves off!
15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. - Gal 5:15-18 NKJV
Paul makes a few good points in his letter to the Galatians, and all of them can be found useful in our lives. As he continues to exhort the readers, he warns them to stop hurting one another before they destroy each other and then he tells them how to live so they will not continue to bite and devour each other.
There are a variety of ways we can apply the Scriptures to our lives, but there is only one true interpretation of them. In every case we must use the Scriptures through the Spirit of God and not our own flesh or reasoning mind for He alone can give us an understanding of His mysteries. We can learn from the words penned by Paul how to walk in the Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Our problem may not be keeping the law or circumcision; we may be bewitched in other areas that attempt to destroy our salvation by taking us off the path of Truth and putting us on a path of “spirituality” that is not of God.
As Paul continues he talks about other kinds of sin such as those that are obvious works of the flesh. Adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, and lewdness; idolatry, sorcery, hate, division, jealousy, anger, and selfishness. He talks about heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness and other revelries and the likes. Paul makes it clear that those who practice these things, those who continue on in these manners even though they say they are saved, will not inherit the kingdom of God. When we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord, we will change.
A false doctrine infiltrating the Church today is the word “grace” used as if it is a license to sin. This is a bold, in your face lying spirit that teaches such things. Grace is a strength of God to not continue in sin for those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. And If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal :24-25
When our lives are submitted to the Holy Spirit of God working in us these things will be evident; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
Spirituality has become a buzzword in the New Age circles, but that is simply because they have distorted the truth with such statements as “Being Spiritual has nothing to do with your belief, it’s to do with what you feel.”
What a lie! It should not surprise us when the enemy of our souls takes such a precious truth and counterfeits it with this type of lie. I have met so many people who say they are spiritual and not religious, I was one of them, but the truth for me was that I wasn’t either one. I knew the truth was Jesus Christ but didn’t make an effort to live in His Spirit as to be spiritually led; my flesh ruled my life and as such so did Satan. So many people that confess spirituality use it as an excuse not to go to Church because they think going to church is religious. It is, but it is also spiritual. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:25
This statement is not saying a person cannot miss a church service rather they are not to make a habit out of not meeting. The many excuses that people use to avoid attending spiritual gatherings such as church services and classes do not usually hold up. We are called the Body of Christ for a reason, each part supplies to another, and when we fail to come together there is something missing.
The word spiritual refers to the renewed nature of an individual and his/her inclination towards the works of the Spirit and not the world. Inclinations to the natural means that when something in life happens the first thing a person is drawn to is the intellectual mind for an answer but a spiritual person will seek God and His wisdom first. A spiritual person will not rely on their own ability to do a thing but will understand what it means when God says, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the LORD of hosts.” Zec 4:6
When things look impossible a spiritual person will be reminded of the words of Jesus, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
On the other side of this type of spirituality is religion and a religious person will often do things with a rhythm and a rhyme, in other words with repeated prayers and behavior they will try to navigate their way through a problem. This type of religion is not useful because it is often superstitious and filled with vain repetitions that have no heart connection. Jesus is all about the heart, and we need not have a lot of words to rest our problems on Him.
Lastly, a spiritual person has a desire to follow the word of God because they have received His Spirit and understand the importance of obedience. They understand obedience brings blessings whereby the opposite is true, disobedience to God’s word allows curses to be effective in our lives. God said He gives life and death and we have a choice; choose life (Deut. 30:19).
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within Your people. I realize that I am equipped for every good work through Your Spirit but that I have failed to present myself to the Body of Christ in unity so that I could fulfill the destiny You have planned for me. I confess that I have sinned against You by manipulating the truth of Your word and have called myself a spiritual person when in fact I have not attended church service or classes nor have I done the spiritual work You have called me to. I have become downhearted with the church, and in my wounds, I have neglected the fellowshipping with others. I ask for Your help today to forgive and heal me in this area so that I can begin afresh. I thank You for the grace and mercy that You release to me, in Jesus name, Amen.