The illustration used in the video was adapted from a sermon by Pastor Michael Strickland from The Cove Church
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 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 you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17)
The Bible shows us that there are two natures: One of the Spirit and one of the flesh. But we can only have one. If we really want to see life transformation, we need more of the Spirit because what the flesh desires is contrary to what the Spirit desires. They are in conflict with each other.
“Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
As vessels of God, what we need to do is flee the evil desires of the flesh and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. When we have more of God – there is less of ourselves. Where there is more of the Spirit – there is less of the flesh.
It’s one or the other.
SEALED AND DELIVERED
If we’ve received Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Saviour, the Bible says that we’ve received a seal of the promise of God.
“And who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:22)
But there’s another experience that God wants us to have in our Christian walk – it’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that we will be filled – to the brim – with the Holy Spirit!
That’s not all there is to it. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, though we may have changed, we are not removed from our usual environments that test our responses or reactions.
So we will react either according to our “old self” or respond through our “new self” which is being renewed in the knowledge of God. If we are not in step with the Spirit, it’s easy for us to respond in the flesh.
Whether you’re driving on the road or responding to your children: Are you aware of the situations and things that tend to draw anger out of you? Are you an angry person? Even though we are filled with the Holy Spirit, anger can seep into our lives through cracks and open windows of impatience and intolerance.
When you place white vinegar in a glass jar, it looks just like water. But vinegar stinks. We may look like water on the outside but we’re not. We can do many Christian things yet still have a spirit of self-righteousness – trust and reliance on ourselves instead of the grace of God.
Things get nastier when you throw jealousy into the mix. Some of us get jealous when others do better than us: We write off others’ successes and we point fingers at them. We cannot stand not being the best. Don’t let jealousy make you a miserable person.
4. Other sinful desires
Lastly, there are the darker things that we may not talk about openly – or at all. Things like adultery, pornography, stealing and backstabbing. These desires belong to our fleshly nature.
In order to keep in step with the Spirit and defeat our fleshly nature, we can’t just be filled with the Spirit one time. We need to continually be filled and continually be empowered so that God’s light won’t dull in us.
Think about the first thing you do in the morning. Do you reach for your smartphone or for the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit? Each morning, tell the Holy Spirit, “Speak and I’ll listen. Lead and I’ll follow.”
Jesus said, “Let those who are thirsty come to me and drink, and out of your belly will come out an abundant flow of the Holy Spirit.” When we are continually filled with the Holy Spirit, not only are we filled – Jesus says we will be filled until we overflow!
By the continual empowerment of the Holy Spirit – through the overflow of our revived heart – we can bring revival everywhere we go: Our homes, schools, army camps, and workplaces.