The Works of the Spirit Versus the Works of the Flesh
Written by Christi Given | January 5, 2018
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This week a PI Girl asked how to battle the flesh and doing right versus what God asks of us. It is so hard, but we cannot do it on our own strength or power…we will fail. We must ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to overcome. God has been good to each and every one of us and how we overcome the enemy is through the Word, which is the sword of the spirit, with prayer, with the name of Jesus, and with the blood of the lamb and word of our testimony. The enemy flees when we worship, honor and seek God. Let us be mindful of what we listen to and who we are around, and try to be in God’s presence daily so we can stay focused on what matters most, amen?
Living out a spirit-filled life is not easy all the time as there is a battle that’s raging against us in the spiritual realm and with our human nature. We are born into a fallen world and have a sinful or carnal nature that wars against the nature of the spirit. We must acknowledge that whatever we feed grows and whatever we speak out can manifest. We must be watchful and put on the whole armor of God to protect against harsh warfare (Ephesians 6).
The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:63)
The Bible instructs us to remain in the Spirit, not the flesh, and that the flesh profits nothing. Our world constantly bombards us with temptation to feed our flesh instead of our faith, and we are easily swayed and distracted. We must be alert and sober so that we withstand the pull toward the sins of the world. Of course we all fall short, but I mean we must guard against habitual sin that leads to bondage and blocks our blessings, and we must watch out for the works of the flesh because they lead us away from God.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21)
The Bible is so serious about these works of the flesh (the opposite of God’s spirit) that it literally says if we turn a blind eye and walk in them, we can literally miss entering into God’s Kingdom. Yikes! That sounds pretty serious to me. We are really in an unseen battle for our souls and the Lord tells us to not let anyone steal our crown of salvation. See, there are many gospels out there that tell you to use grace as a license to sin, but the Bible clearly teaches us that we need to repent daily and feed ourselves spiritually so we can be strong enough to resist the works of the enemy. We all sin and all need forgiveness daily, amen?
If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. (Genesis 4:7)
It’s easy to say that Jesus paid it all, and He sure did! There is power in the blood of Christ, amen? The thing is when you actually are born again, you die to the old sin’s nature and are the master of sin, instead of it mastering you. It’s interesting because the Bible tells us there will be wolves in sheep’s clothing to deceive many, to teach false doctrine on what they want to hear instead of truth. The truth is that sin leads to death and eternal separation from God. The truth is that when we are full of God’s HOLY spirit we are whole, undivided and wholesome, and although not perfect, we are able to overcome habitual sin because we abide (remain, stay plugged in) daily in Jesus Christ and His Word (John 15, John 3).
There is a balance of the reality of life and the spiritual life. We know we live in a world and we need to impact it for the sake of the Gospel and souls, but we are not “of” it. This means we are salt and we are producing a thirst in people for truth, hope and the ultimate love, which is God’s eternal love. God sent Christ so we could be reunited to Him in fellowship through the power of the resurrection and Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit lives in us, our bodies are a temple and we must treat the body like God is inside of us! Amen?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Genesis 5:22-26)
I pray that we all can examine ourselves, not in a condemning way, but in a way that helps us evaluate where we can grow. I encourage you PI girls to write down the works of the flesh from Galatians and the works of the Spirit. Let us be conscious of what we invite into our minds, eye gates and ear gates, and what we are supporting. Let us aim to honor God in our lives. Of course, Jesus uses the most wicked of sinners, but the key is a repentant heart. We must repent (make an effort to turn away, in the opposite direction), so we can have a blessed and abundant life. A life with God’s love will overshadow any temporal pleasure on earth. Only God can fill our God-shaped hearts, amen?
I pray you come to know God the Father and His love for you that He would send Jesus His son to die for you on the cross 2,000 years ago to shed His blood so that you didn’t have to die, but could have everlasting life with the Father in the Holy Spirit. Click here to read about how to receive God and Christ as your Lord and Savior.