Every follower of Jesus Christ knows this battle.
It’s the battle that seems so much bigger than we are. It’s the flesh that wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.
We well understand the feelings of Paul the Apostle: “I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do what I know is right. I do the things I hate. . . . The sin that lives in me is what does them. . . . But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do. What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die?” (Romans 7:15-24).
We all agree with his feelings, but we also all agree with his conclusion: “Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me” (Romans 7:25).
“Our hope is build on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
How do we live in the newness of our lives in Christ?
First, we must acknowledge the battle. If Paul knew the battle, we certainly do. We need to recognize that we have a sinful nature and we live in a world that encourages sin and rebellion instead of obedience and faith. Simply knowing the enemy helps to fight the battle.
Second, acknowledge the real answer–living by the Spirit. I don’t have the solution; Christ does. As I yield my every day to Him, I find the strength I need.
Third, seek the Spirit’s guidance. God gives His guidance freely as we seek Him in prayer and in Scripture. “If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires” (Galatians 5:16).
Fourth, commit to live by the Spirit.
Finally, make this a daily occurrence. Seek to live for God today by the power of His Spirit. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Simply give each day to God. “God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
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