Looking for freedom? You need the Holy Spirit for that
If you fight and squabble, be careful that you do not end up consuming one another.
This love thing is key. If you let the flesh get involved and you start biting and devouring each other [the terms used in the NASB], you can end up destroying each other.
My instruction is: walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh oppose the Spirit. The Spirit enables us to want to do the opposite of our lust and cravings. These two entities are constantly battling each other, so you are not free to carry out your intentions.
We must understand that our spirit, coupled with the Holy Spirit, has completely different goals, ideals, and attitudes than the ones driving our old selves [from before our rebirth]. The winner of this battle is now our choice. This is the whole point of chapter 6 in Romans. We are now free from sin and the flesh. We can acknowledge the death of the flesh made possible by the life of Jesus within us—and walk in freedom. Sin no longer controls us. We can tell it to leave us alone. Its power is broken.
Before we knew the Lord, we had no control over this at all. Our life was governed by the fulfillment of our desires. What we had no idea of was the simple fact that our flesh is entirely self-serving. It’s only goal is to please itself—to feel good.
This does not change when we are born again. What changes is that we now have options. The power of the flesh is broken.
But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve… But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
[Joshua 24:14–16 NLT]
Joshua could choose, but he had no power to be good. We have the option to be good. We are not capable of that, but the Holy Spirit can make that a reality in our lives.
Our only hope for that goodness and righteousness is to follow the leadings of the Spirit and give Him control of our lives. The battle between flesh and spirit will be a constant concern throughout our life here on the planet. All we can do is ask the Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom.
It is His power that makes it possible. What we can do is seek Him. The hope is that we will be wise and loving in heaven once we realize the perfection of the Father’s design. For now, it is a spiritual battle. This battle is what determines our rewards in heaven. Walking in the Spirit is the source of our power to do that.
If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Here is the key to the whole thing. Being led by the Holy Spirit sets us outside the law. As soon as we try to make our lives better by following the law, we ruin that freedom to be and do good.
This is the statement and reality that scares church leaders half to death. They can tell if you are following the law. They have no real idea whether or not you are truly walking in the Spirit. They only have two options: take your word for it or get direct knowledge from the Spirit themselves.
My wife is blessed to have the second type of communication. The Lord would tell her what was going on with her sheep. But operating in the gifts like this is extremely rare in the church today.
The point of all this is that walking in the Spirit is risky. Once we start on that path we are completely dependent on the Lord and the leadings of His Holy spirit.
We must be in constant communication
- It takes effort
- It takes walking in obedience
- It takes dedication
- It takes perseverance
- It takes self-control
Thankfully, the Lord has that covered also.
For God is at work in you, both to make you willing and to make you able—to do what pleases Him [Philippians 2:13]
- Walking in the Spirit or the flesh? (bergsland.org)
- Trying To Live For Jesus Without The Spirit Messes Everything Up (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)