By Amanda Usher
“The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”
Gal. 5:17 (NLT)
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Gal. 5:19-21 (NLT)
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Gal. 5:22-23 (NLT)
There’s a lifelong war that occurs within us. This war consists of multiple internal battles between the way that we WANT to behave and the way that we’re COMMANDED to behave. It’s one that haunts all of us, and at times, may even get the best of us and causes us to falter and displease our Father.
Now what do you do when self-control seems overshadowed by lust? Or when envy, jealousy and hostility are desperately striving to cancel out any kindness and goodness in you? Do you allow yourself to be defeated in this ongoing war, and therefore deny God, or do you stand up to accept Him and fight against this sinful nature?
On one hand, you could easily enjoy the pleasures of the earthly world. You could get drunk, dance your heart out at wild parties and may even partake in some sort of sexual immorality. That would be fun for you, right? Maybe you’re the type to let your selfish ambition take over and you decide to step on others to benefit your own success. The question is, where would these things eventually land you?
How would these acts get you into the heavenly world with the One that created you? While they may afford you temporary happiness and fulfillment, the satisfaction will soon die and fade, leaving you to be in search of it again on another day. It’s a cycle that never ends because God is nowhere in it. If He was in the center of your life, you would have constant joy, continual peace and everlasting faithfulness.
So how do you make sure that you keep this sinful nature from consuming you? It takes a lot of God’s deliverance and much prayer. Change from you is also needed: a change of friends, a change of scenery, a change in routine or a change in how you view your circumstances as this nature can frequently come from a depressed state of mind. Trust that you can find peace and joy within the Holy Spirit, not from a bottle of alcohol or flesh. Worship God, and believe in His Word. It’ll be complicated to abandon earthly desires, but it’ll be more than worth it when you enter through the Gates.
Don’t let this sinful nature win this conflict, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to be the victor. The two are in combat with one another, but there’s only One that promises favor. He promises love, understanding and eternal salvation. Don’t let your behavior hinder you from receiving the Holy Spirit’s fruit. Be a brave, faithful soldier!
Which of the two will be the victor in your life: the sinful nature here on earth or the Holy Spirit in Heaven?
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