Should you go to that movie?
Should you post that link?
Should you read that book?
Should you eat that...or drink that?
Should you say that to that person?
Living as a Christian can be overwhelming at times–especially when you’re new to the faith. After all, many of the things you used to do/say/share/etc. are now things that you know God is against.
You now know that HE wants you to follow His will…but how do you know with each and every decision?
How do we know what to do, and what not to do?
Seriously…it’s just not practical to go through every day calling your Pastor, or carry your Bible with you everywhere and find ‘just the right verse’ for guidance all the time.
So, how do we do it?
First, let me say that it is CRUCIAL…absolutely Mandatory that you consistently get thoughtfully and prayerfully into the Word of God–cuz that is what God will use to teach you about Himself, His will, and its impact on your life.
Second, you SHOULD consistently go to a Bible-Believing, Transformational church–where you actually are encouraged to give God control of every area of life. (We say, and others have said, “God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you there.)
But Thirdly, it is important that you learn to live under the ongoing influence, guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
Paul writes about this in Galatians 5
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
He says that, when you consciously and willingly ‘walk by the Spirit’ you WILL NOT (Did he say that? Yes, I think he did!) gratify the desires of the flesh!
In other words, WHEN a person is ‘walking by’ (Living in step with, submitting themselves to, prayerfully and willingly cooperating with the Spirit), they WILL NOT go into ‘the deeds of the flesh’–ie, sin.
He continues: “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[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:17-18)
The ‘flesh’–refers to the OLD way we used to live–the self-centered, appetite-driven, insatiable and instant-gratification-driven ‘old us’ that used to run our lives. It did not lead to good things and good behavior. In fact, Paul gives more detail:
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 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 5:19-21)
You know you…you know that you used to be that way.
But now, through faith in Jesus, you’ve been given new life! “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation! The old is gone, New Life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
You don’t want to live the ‘old’ way anymore, and you know it!
In fact, you want to live a new way…and you can–as you ‘walk in step with the Spirit’!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
Struggling with temptation? Feeling drawn to sin? Slipping into the old way of life?
Repent of your ‘dabbling’ with these sins again.
Welcome the Holy Spirit.
Submit to Him and the Word of God!
Then…rejoice! As long as you are cultivating that, and led by the Spirit…you will not fulfill the deeds of the flesh.
Praise God for your deliverance, and your new life!