November 5th 

Live by the Spirit

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For 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. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. 
Galatians 5:16-26
NKJV 

In this scripture Paul is talking about two kinds of living:  living by the sinful nature and living by the Spirit of God.  These "natures" of living will conflict with each other, because they have opposite desires.  This conflict highlights the backdrop against which we make all of our decisions in life.  Every decision will affect the conflict between the two natures.   The ultimate danger of living by the sinful nature is that we can jeopardize our eternal inheritance in Christ (see verse 21 above).   

Paul later says in Galatians 6:7 that whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  Viewing pornography or other sexualized material is a powerful way to sow to our sinful nature.   By loading our minds with depictions of fornication, adultery and other sexual sin, our thoughts will be filled with those depictions.  Such fuel will undoubtedly cause the fires of lust to increase in our minds.   

God has given us the power to choose between good and evil.  We can choose the way of righteousness (as opposed to sin) with the help of the Holy Spirit, who God has sent to live in us and help us.  Consider verses 22-25: 

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

If we have placed faith/trust in Jesus Christ, we can reckon ourselves with Christ and put our sinful passions and desires to death.  The power to do this comes from the Holy Spirit:

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”  Romans 8:11 NIV 

The only power the sinful nature has over us is that which we concede to it, thinking it still has power over us (Romans 6:11-12).  By our faith in Christ and our declaration that our sinful nature is dead, we open the door to our new nature and life in the Holy Spirit.  This new life is the one of fulfillment and happiness, and all the fruits of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control! 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for the new life that is available to me through the Holy Spirit.  I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ - I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, was crucified and resurrected from the dead.  I confess any sins that I have continued to tolerate in my life, specifically: __________________ (list).  I repent from these sins, and I ask for your forgiveness, Lord, on account of your finished work on the Cross.  I now reckon myself dead to sin and alive to God through Christ.  Father, please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and lead me in living the new life.  I want to be the person that you created me to be! Thank you! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”