25 Jun Are You Walking in the Spirit?
It’s one thing to overcome the flesh and stop doing bad things. It’s a completely different thing to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) and start doing good things. But it’s true that the best way to break a bad habit is to start a new habit. In order to not do the bad, you need to do the good. This is only possible through the Holy Spirit—specifically by the Spirit producing His fruit in your life.
The fruit of the Spirit is entirely different from human works. Works take work. But fruit is supernaturally natural. You never see an apple tree straining to produce an apple; it just grows one.
Galatians 5 says that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (vv. 22-23). The first three fruits are what you manifest in your relationship with God: love, joy, and peace. The next three are what you express toward other people: patience, kindness, and goodness. And the last fruits are toward yourself: faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
So where exactly do you get the victory when it comes to producing this fruit and overcoming the flesh? At the cross. Paul went on to write in Galatians 5 that “those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (vv. 24-25). Our conquest is Christ on the cross. You are saved at the cross, and your sanctification comes from the cross.
And, the text says, we must crucify the flesh. You can’t crucify yourself, can you? This is the work of God. Notice it says that those who are in Christ have crucified the flesh. It’s past tense. Christ died on the cross, but your flesh did, too. Earlier in Galatians, Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (2:20).
I encourage you to sit on that and really think about it. Think about the choices you make every day, the habits you have. If you’re a believer, your flesh has been crucified with Christ. Are you living like it?
There are things the raven—your flesh—hungers for, and there are things the dove—the Spirit—hungers for. And the one you feed is the one that will make a nest and rule the roost. Remember, in order to not do the bad, you need to do the good. Think about how you’re feathering your nest, and then make a concerted effort, by the Spirit’s own help, to walk in the Spirit and produce the fruit of a life that’s truly been changed by the gospel.