Recap: Last week, I felt led to focus intently on Galatians 5:16-26 for the next several weeks. This week was all about Galatians 5:16. “So I say to you, walk by the Spirit – then you will not gratify the desires of your sinful nature.”
I ended up switching the Bible translation for the sake of remembering what I read. This way, I can focus better on the words and be able to meditate on it without my Bible sitting in front of me. It has worked out well so far. It is complimented by searching the Scriptures for God’s grace… Scriptures that fixate on the very grace of God.
Week 2: Galatians 5:17
“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.”
“In verse 17 Paul explains the basis of his confidence in the Spirit. He describes the war between the flesh and the Spirit and the result of that war. The Spirit and the sinful nature are two hostile forces opposed to each other: the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other. So walking by the Spirit (v. 16) means fighting in a war between the Spirit and the sinful nature (v. 17). The connection between verse 16 and verse 17 indicates that those who live by the Spirit are not neutral in this war. They are committed to fight on the side of the Spirit against the desires of the sinful nature…
This is the conflict of a thoroughly committed Christian who is choosing each day to “walk by the Spirit.” Each day the Christian who chooses to walk by the Spirit is engaged in a fierce battle between the Spirit and the sinful nature. It is important to stress this point, because many Christians feel ashamed to admit that they are experiencing such a conflict. They feel that mature Christians should somehow be above this kind of struggle. They imagine that the great saints were surely too spiritual to feel the desires of the flesh. But Paul flatly contradicts such images of superspirituality.”