But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:16-17
Battle of Flesh and Spirit
Did you realize that there is a battle going on inside of you each day? It is a battle of flesh and Spirit. The meaning of the word flesh in this passage is a negative one. It refers to our self desire to make decisions apart from God and to rely on our own power. To live by the flesh is displeasing to God because we are not relying on God, we are not seeking God but are seeking our own self interest. It is the Spirit we are to live by and to desire. The word Spirit, is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Spirit is the leading in our life that will result in producing the fruits of the Spirit, which is the opposite of flesh.
The familiar story that has been told over and over really explains this struggle the best. A preacher once asked a man how he was doing spiritually. The man replied and said “it’s like I have a good dog and bad dog living inside of me always fighting each other.” The preacher asked the man, “which one is winning today?” The man replied, “which ever one I feed the most.”
God calls us to “walk by the Spirit.” How do we walk by the Spirit and not according to the flesh? The simple answer is to stop feeding the flesh and start feeding the Spirit. What are you filing your mind with each day? What are you doing when no one is looking? Do you talk about others? If you want to walk by the Spirit start feeding yourself with God’s word each day. When you feel weak and your faith is low hold on to the promises of God. Cast off your fleshy desires and self and pursue God. Rest on the promises of His word and obedience to God and you will begin to walk by the Spirit.