Freedom to Walk in the Spirit
As she climbed the pole she did everything to convince herself that twenty-five feet is not really that high up. Slowly after much coaxing and encouragement she is able to pull herself onto the two foot square platform… trembling with fear she looks out to a trapeze bar just five feet in front of her… she has a harness on, her harness is connected to a rope, the one holding the rope gently and clearly tells her...
“All you need to do is trust me, and jump out and catch the trapeze bar.” WHAT!!! yelled back my wife! What do you mean “that’s ALL I need to do!!!???”
all I need to do???!!!”
All the safety measures were in place...
The harness 5000 LBS
The rope 5000 LBS
Equipment inspected & checked
Skilled individual who held the rope
Who cared for her
Wanted what was best not harm
A great deal more conversation, time, and assurance with explanation had to be had...
In our passage today gives us a “what do you mean that’s all” kind of a statement… Galatians 5:16
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
We have a clear Directive!
There is no beating around the bush!
Paul is crystal clear in what he is telling the Galatian churches!
If that was it we would have so many questions…???
God I can’t
I’m not the Apostle Paul
I’m not a pastor…HA!
I’m not Billy Graham
“I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I'm going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment: 'Lord, remember me.’” Billy Graham
A great man like Billy Graham was able to do and be who he was because he learned to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh!
Paul is going to take a little time to unfold this Directive…A little conversation, time, and assurance.
Paul Understands there is a conflict… How, Why, and I Can’t
Address the conflict,
Explain the Reason for victory, and
The Result is wonderful in the life of the believer!
17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
The Believer must realize there is a CONFLICT!
We find ourselves often trying to avoid conflict don’t we?
The Two Opposing forces are the Flesh and the Spirit!
Sometimes this opposition is clearly seen in a life by others, However often this battle and conflict only rages within the heart and mind of the individual.
You could not have two more opposing forces...
One seeks self and only what self wants, the other seeks God and ALL that God desires
Both have two very different outcomes…
Has almost instant pleasure with long term and often dire consequences
The other has results not so quickly and easily seen, yet it reaps long term / even eternal rewards and blessings
Verse 17b - “the things you please” aka the FLESH… James 1:14 spoke to this...
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
What is it that our “own lust” desires… Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
… and things like these!!! LOOK at at this list… each one of those God has given a law concerning it, in fact many of them man has even made laws for!
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law...”
Follow the Spirit and you don’t need a law for the things He desires!
This list and many other things wage war in our soul and mind…
We know it is wrong
We know we should trust God
We understand the consequences
We want that temporary pleasure… OR
We just don’t want the struggle anymore...
Battle is tough and you can grow weary!
If you just give in… the struggle leaves for a little while.
Paul makes a bold statement that all of us should take to heart… verse 21b... “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Is Paul saying we can loose our Salvation? NO!
Practice = living that sort of life / lifestyle
We can all fall into these sins… some may have happened to you this morning!
There is a Balance in this walk… Legalism… Liberty… License
Does this list depict your lifestyle?
Does the Spirit of God cringe in you?
We need to examine our hearts with sober judgement (NOT OTHERS)
David often was seen asking God to search him and show him any wickedness in him.
As we mature in Christ we should see less and less of these in our lives...
“growing old in age is natural, but growing old with grace is a choice. Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ. Billy Graham
We can have victory over this struggle and conflict! WHY? Galatians 5:24
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The Reason we have Victory is the Cross!
They have been nailed to the cross!
Christ has conquered!
The flesh is powerless, unless we give it the power in our life.
A cross was not an instant death… it was a sentencing to death.
We see our desires and flesh nailed and want it back!!!
We take it back temporarily giving it power in our lives again!
Allow Christ to have the power in your life! Galatians 2:20
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
The issue for us is control… who will get it?
The solution is surrender… allow God to do what only God can do.
The Result is a Directive we have freedom to walk in...
Paul challenged his readers with a question in Galatians 3:3
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
and now he states clearly in Galatians 5:25
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Church… God has given us the directive to walk by His Spirit, next week we will look in greater detail what that looks like.
For now… trust Him, take Him at His Word, take that leap and experience the freedom Christ died for in your life, walk with Him and you will not carry out the desires of your flesh!