I confess and mediate on this passage often, because it reminds me of powerful biblical truths that can lead to true freedom in Christ. It tells me what walking in the Spirit is, and also what it is not. Let’s take a closer look at this verse, so that we can gain some life-changing insights from it.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 (NLT)
If you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you’re a born-again believer and the Holy Spirit is living inside you to guide and direct you, but the raging battle still exist within every believer: our own sinful nature versus the desires of the Holy Spirit. Who will win? In Galatians 5 Paul warns us that without a fight, we will do what comes naturally – following our own heart’s sinful inclinations and ultimately submitting to the folly of our own desires and influence. By doing so, we will not only experience the natural outcomes of our choice that lead towards destructive behavior.
The great news is that as followers of Jesus, we do not have to live life that way! We can live a life guided by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit directs and influences our decisions, our character will reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.(Galatians 5:22-23). So, how do we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives and influence our decisions? Paul says that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature and its passions and desires, and he urges us that “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (verse 24).
Submit to the Holy Sprit’s influence: Let Him be your Master, set your pace, and be your life manager. Let Him refine, correct, and discipline you. Live your life for Him – under His influence, supervision and power.
Lord, help us to continually walk in the Spirit by being “responsive to and controlled and guided by” Him in every situation and circumstance. Strengthen us so that we will never yield to the cravings or desires of the flesh. Thank You for the victory and freedom that will be ours as we follow Your lead in all things! In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen and Amen.