Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Giving Up Control

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."
Galatians 5:16

What does it mean to "walk by the Spirit"? In the original Greek, the word for "walk" is peripateo and it is in the present tense, meaning a continuous action, a habitual way of life. Christians should make it a habit to live the way Jesus lived. Of course, as humans it's impossible to live the perfect life of our Lord. But He is our example, and we set our hearts and minds on becoming more like Him each day. The more we yield to His spirit living within us, the more closely we resemble our Savior. As we study the Bible, we learn what it looks like to yield to the Spirit, and we find ourselves more aware of when we don't do so. It is in those times that we "carry out the desire of the flesh". Martin Luther said, “I do not deny that the lust of the flesh includes carnal lust. But it takes in more. It takes in all the corrupt desires with which believers are more or less infected, as pride, hatred, covetousness, impatience.” When I consider how habitually impatient I become when a traffic light doesn't change as quickly as I think it should, then I know how much I daily need to let the Spirit control me.

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