Tug of War

This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.

[Gal 5:17] 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.

Step one in many of the 12-step programs begins with a critical diagnosis, my flesh is powerless to save itself. Paul’s letter to the Galatians is all about how the gospel brings true freedom. So many of these Galatians were trying to live a life of legalism and performance. The gospel had become such a burden and the works of the flesh seemed to be spreading. Like putting water on a grease fire, legalism only made the flesh worse!

Paul reminds us the issue comes down to a battle of “wills”. The good news is that we have help if we are willing to take it. God’s Spirit is ready to empower and direct me to victory. Gal 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  

I am glad that Paul said, “walk”, it allows me to take it one step at a time! Step one for me is about recognizing the power of my own flesh. It helps me to know that even as a believer my flesh still wars against God’s Spirit. Step two is about recognizing the daily presence and power of the Spirit in me as well. Step three tells me because of the gospel I have the power to choose to say no to the flesh (19-21) & say yes to the Spirit (24).

Fighting the flesh in my own strength is still pulling against the Spirit. Let us let go today of trying to save ourselves and grab on to the one who has already done everything to save us!