In my last post, we saw that our freedom in Christ was not a license for our flesh to have its own way. Our liberty is actually freedom FROM the old man, not freedom for it. In today’s post, I want to talk about how to access this freedom that Christ won for us.
When we walk in the liberty of Christ, it’s easier to see the positive changes in our life. The Holy Spirit will bring change from the inside out. This truth is also brought out in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Many times, when people quote this verse, they’re using it as a weapon. I’ve heard people say things like, “Look at how that person lives, and they call themselves a Christian. They’re walking in their flesh so they must not have the Holy Spirit in them. They can’t really be saved.”
This isn’t a verse that Paul gave us to test whether a person is saved or not. This is a passage of Scripture to tell us how to receive the power we need to walk in victory over the flesh. The only way you’ll have the power you need to not gratify the flesh, is to live your life in the spirit.
You can’t do it by exercising the will power of your soul or even disciplining your body. This means that you spend time praying in the spirit, communing with God in the realm of the spirit. That’s where we access the power to overcome the desires of the flesh.
I know that there are those who would disagree with me on this point. They don’t believe that praying in the spirit, using our prayer language, is for today. I’ve even been told by some that they believe they can “pray in the spirit” in English (their native language).
One thing you have to remember is that the Apostle Paul wrote this. He was adamant that he had a rich prayer life in the spirit through praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18). I believe that when he says to live by the spirit, he means a daily activation of the spirit through the use of this gift.
Please understand that this isn’t the only place in Scripture where we’re told to use the spirit to change our behavior.
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
This is another piece of that same puzzle. Our outside will never change unless we have a change of heart. The problem is that our heart itself is very deceptive. We can’t always trust what we’re feeling.
That’s why true change can never be imposed upon it from the outside, by the written code. It must come from the inside, by the power of the spirit.
I don’t believe that a prayer you craft from your own mind and then speak from your mouth (part of your flesh), is ever going to be powerful enough to change your heart and actions. It’s only when your spirit gets involved that true change will take place.
It’s only through daily prayer in the spirit that we see the fruit of what Paul is talking about here. It’s through this gift that our spirit lines up with the Holy Spirit to put our mind and flesh on the right path.
I need make the choice to follow the Spirit’s leading. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today – while the Holy Spirit is seeking my attention. Don’t ignore His gentle voice calling for your fellowship.
Isn’t it great to know that your spirit, submitted to the Holy Spirit, can change your heart and walk?
Question: Is there something in your life that’s been hindering you from fully submitting to the Holy Spirit’s leadership?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017
September 29, 2017 at 12:53 PM
Very good teaching,
I think you nailed it when you said ” The only way you’ll have the power you need to not gratify the flesh, is to live your life in the spirit.
You can’t do it by exercising the will power of your soul or even disciplining your body. This means that you spend time praying in the spirit, communing with God in the realm of the spirit. That’s where we access the power to overcome the desires of the flesh.”
Most Christians don’t understand that we must BECOME, before we are able to DO. When we embrace Him in relationship, we BECOME sons in our heart, enabling us to DO what a good son does.
Doing is the second step, and Being is the first. what we do is determined by what/who we are. Acknowledge what/who you are and the corresponding actions will eventually follow.
Make the tree good, and it will eventually bear good fruit.
Don’t mean to get preachy, but this subject is burning in me right now. I recently posted several teachings that cover this. I am excited to see that more and more people are embracing this revelation.
keep up the great work!
October 2, 2017 at 11:39 AM
Thanks for the insights, Jack. I subscribe to your blog and I’ve been noticing our similar themes. I believe that it’s confirmation of what God wants His body to learn in this generation.