Posts Tagged ‘Walking in the flesh’

Flesh and Spirit: never-ending conflict

January 16, 2017

Galatians-5-16

The Verse of the Day for January 16, 2017 comes from Galatians 5:16, but to understand more fully this particular verse, we need to examine verses 16-18 which reveal the conflict that rages within each believer: the ongoing battle between good and evil, the constant struggle between fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and walking by the spirit. This dilemma is sharply delineated in the Amplified Bible:
Galatians 5: 16-18 (AMPC):

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.
Paul goes on to draw a sharp contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

This never-ending internal conflict is also depicted in Romans 7:18-25, where Paul speaks of his desire to do good , to do the right thing, but he winds up doing the very thing that he does not want to do, and regrettably he does not do what he so longs to do:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Colonial poet Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) personalizes the constant conflict raging within her own mind and within every Christian believer in this excerpt from “The Flesh and the Spirit”:

I heard two sisters reason on
Things that are past and things to come.
One Flesh was call’d, who had her eye
On worldly wealth and vanity;
The other Spirit, who did rear
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere.

This intense internal conflict is depicted in this original poem as a fight where each individual determines the outcome:

Two Ravenous Wolves

An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren
into the forest and sat them down and said to them,
‘A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight
and it is a fight between two wolves.
One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed.
The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness,
humility and love. . . .This same fight between the’
two wolves that is going on inside of me
is going on inside of you, and inside every person.”

Rabbi Marc Gellman

Two ravenous wolves wage constant warfare within.
Each stalks the other, striving to survive, to reign.
One embodies fear, anger, arrogance, and greed,
The other courage, kindness, humility and love:
One a sinister serpent, one a gentle dove.
Each tries to gain the upper hand and to restrain
Its foe, but only one will rise to seize the lead.
Each is seeking to dominate, driven to gain.
One will be defeated–only one will remain.
Since each beast demands the opposite kind of food,
We select the diet, whether evil or good.
In each conflict, the soul determines who will win,
For wolves are ravaged by an all-consuming need,
And we decide the wolf we starve, the wolf we feed.

David W. Morris offers “Walking in the Spirit Medley” (Hosannah! Music), musical reminder of where we should be walking.

Natural vs spiritual

September 28, 2016

1_corinthians_2-14

The Verse of the Day for September 28, 2016 comes from 1 Corinthians 2:14 (MSG):

The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.

Here is the rendering from the New Living Translation:

But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

The Verse of the Day contrasts two distinctive groups of people: those who are of a carnal or fleshly nature and those who are spiritual whose spiritual nature dominates. In the first instance, those of a carnal nature are led by bodily appetites, the five senses, and also by a self-exalting spirit, estranged from the life of the spirit. To those who walk after the flesh, spiritual matters or concerns of the Spirit are foolishness to those whose very nature is earthly, sensual, and devilish.

In Romans Paul contrasts those who walk after the spirit and those who walk after flesh in Romans 8:1(NKJV):

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

He goes on to explain

Romans 8:5 (NLT):

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

The essence of the contrast between the flesh and the spirit is explained here:

The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

has made me free from the law of sin and death

Romans 8:2

 

As we move into this new season, we shall see what it brings,

As we learn that the life in the Spirit is where we should be.

No longer in bondage to sin and death we have been set free.

Since we have been brought into the new, we can now do new things,

For our desire is to please God, to succeed and to excel,

We know that we are saved by grace, not by our own merit.

We covenant with God that we will walk in the Spirit

And provide a place where the Spirit of God may dwell.

Ever aware of God’s loving kindness and faithfulness,

We embrace the Spirit of the Living God and understand

That to walk in the spirit, not in the flesh, is God’s command.

As we mature, we attain a measure of Christ’s fullness.

The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set us free

To walk into the fullness of all God has called us to be.

The Maranatha Singers provide this musical medley as reminder that we should be “Walking in the Spirit”:

Walking in the spirit

January 16, 2016

Galatians-5-16

Revised and re-posted from a year ago, the Verse of the Day for January 16, 2016 is found in Galatians 5:16 in the New Living Translation:

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves

To understand more fully this section of Scripture which is labeled Living by the Spirit’s Power we need to examine verses 16-18 which reveal the conflict that rages within each believer: the ongoing battle between good and evil, the constant struggle between fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and walking by the spirit.
Galatians 5: 16-18 remind us of the struggle. This dilemma is sharply delineated in the Amplified Bible:

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.
18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

Paul goes on to draw a sharp contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

This never-ending, internal conflict is also depicted in Romans 7:18-25, where Paul speaks of his desire to do good , to do the right thing, but he winds up doing the very thing that he doesn’t want to do, and regrettably he does not do what he so longs to do.

18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

This raging internal conflict is depicted as a fight where each individual can determine the outcome:

Two Ravenous Wolves

An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren
into the forest and sat them down and said to them,
‘A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight
and it is a fight between two wolves.
One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed.
The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness,
humility and love. . . .This same fight between the
two wolves that is going on inside of me
is going on inside of you, and inside every person.”

Rabbi Marc Gellman

Two ravenous wolves wage constant warfare within.
Each stalks the other, striving to survive, to reign.
One embodies fear, anger, arrogance, and greed,
The other courage, kindness, humility and love:
One a sinister serpent, one a gentle dove.
Each tries to gain the upper hand and to restrain
Its foe, but only one will rise to seize the lead.
Each is seeking to dominate, driven to gain.
One will be defeated–only one will remain.
Since each beast demands the opposite kind of food,
We select the diet, whether evil or good.
In each conflict, the soul determines who will win,
For wolves are ravaged by an all-consuming need,
And we decide the wolf we starve, the wolf we feed.

David W. Morris offers “Walking in the Spirit Medley” (Hosannah! Music), musical reminder of where we should be walking.

Walking in the Spirit

January 16, 2015

IM000314.JPG

The Verse of the Day for January 16, 2015 is found in Galatians 5:16 in the New Living Testament.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves

To understand more fully this section of Scripture which is labeled Living by the Spirit’s Power we need to examine verses 16-18 which reveal the conflict that rages within each believer: the ongoing battle between good and evil, the constant struggle between fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and walking by the spirit.

Galatians 5: 16-18 remind us of the struggle. This dilemma is sharply delineated in the Amplified Bible:

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

Paul goes on to draw a sharp contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

This never-ending internal conflict is also depicted in Romans 7:18-25, where Paul speaks of his desire to do good , to do the right thing, but he winds up doing the very thing that he doesn’t want to do, and regrettably he does not do what he so longs to do.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

This raging internal conflict is depicted as a fight where each individual can determine the outcome:

 Two Ravenous Wolves

An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren

into the forest and sat them down and said to them,

‘A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight

and it is a fight between two wolves.

One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed.

The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness,

humility and love. . . .This same fight between the

two wolves that is going on inside of me

is going on inside of you, and inside every person.”

Rabbi Marc Gellman

Two ravenous wolves wage constant warfare within.

Each stalks the other, striving to survive, to reign.

One embodies fear, anger, arrogance, and greed,

The other courage, kindness, humility and love:

One a sinister serpent, one a gentle dove.

Each tries to gain the upper hand and to restrain

Its foe, but only one will rise to seize the lead.

Each is seeking to dominate, driven to gain.

One will be defeated–only one will remain.

Since each beast demands the opposite kind of food,

We select the diet, whether evil or good.

In each conflict, the soul determines who will win,

For wolves are ravaged by an all-consuming need,

And we decide the wolf we starve, the wolf we feed.

David W. Morris offers “Walking in the Spirit Medley” ( Hosannah! Music), a musical reminder of where we should be walking.