Forgotten God / Chapter 4 [3]

In continuing our conversation about the question {Why do we desire the Holy Spirit}, we come to the toughest part in allowing the Holy Spirit to fully reigning within our life: denying ourselves … or as Francis Chan puts it, crucifying the flesh.

Galatians is the book of FREEDOM.  In this epistle, the apostle Paul explains how, in and through Christ, we have been freed from the Law as a means of seeking “salvation”.  Though we still adhere to God and His Word, we now find our life, means, existence, salvation, hope, etc. in Christ Jesus – and none other.  For it is in accepting Him do we receive the Holy Spirit – a sign and seal of our salvation and coming inheritance (Ephesians 1:13).

Paul challenges the church of Galatia – and us – in living out this understanding; imploring all to walk in the Spirit daily, rather than walking in our flesh.  One cannot walk in both aspects.  The Spirit is at war with our flesh.  Therefore, one should easily conclude that if the Spirit brings freedom, then our flesh brings slavery.  This is what Paul is trying to help us understand in chapters 5 and 6 of Galatians.  This is what Chan is helping us understand in chapter 4: if we truly want to walk in the Spirit, then we need to learn how to crucify our flesh – deny ourselves – so that the Spirit may freely reign within us.

… God wants us to be clear on what we are getting into … The Spirit is meant to lead us toward holiness … When you decide to put to death – to crucify – your flesh, you are by default choosing the way of the Spirit.  You are leaving one path and joining another.  The new path of walking with the Spirit will undoubtedly have its share of twists and turns.  At forks in the trail, you will, at times, choose to follow the desires of your flesh, even though you left that path long ago.

page 93.

However, just because we fall, does not mean that we have to remain down – subjected and imprisoned by our past and weaknesses.  I believe that God is more concerned about you getting up and walking (in faith) towards His heart, then the fact that you mess up.  So, though, we will make mistakes, we must press on, and take hold of the freedom and new life that comes from the Spirit of God (Philippians 3)

Each of us has to decide whether we are going to crucify the flesh, whether we will truly walk with the Spirit.  It is a choice.  And it is crucial.

page 94.

Today, what will your answer be?

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