These last couple of months, California has been rocked by fires. The Mendocino fire was the largest complex fire in CA history. Watching the firefighters put out these flames, we become very aware how hard it is to get a fire under control. Whether outside or in the kitchen, our methods for controlling the fire depend on the fire. For example, we can’t pour water on a grease fire, it only gets worse!
How many times do we feel like we are trying to contain the wildfire of lust in our life? Does trying to contain it make it grow or splatter into other areas?
Paul’s encouragement was “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16)
Paul didn’t say “Try harder! Be stronger!” In fact, it isn’t about using our strength at all. Instead of focusing on what not to do… Paul focuses on what we ought to do. The way I defeat the desires of the flesh is not to try control them, which leads to frustration, exhaustion, and failure. Trying not to do something makes me want to do it even more.
The secret, Paul tells us, is that when we are walking and fulfilling the desires of the Spirit, it defuses and diminishes the desires of my flesh. Let the Word of God be the “spiritual sonogram” that reminds us that the extra heartbeat in us is the presence, power and promise of His Spirit! We are not alone! His Love and not the law will quench the fire of Lust!