“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the Holy Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” (Galatians 5:16)
Everybody has habits. Some good and some bad. They say it takes twenty-one days to make or break a habit. A habit is something you do every day as part of your daily routine. An early morning walk or having coffee on the porch or spending time with God–all these things can be habitual. Bad habits can be smoking or drinking too much. Pornography is another bad habit. These are dangerous habits that can lead to death.
Why does the scriptures encourage us to “live habitually” in the Holy Spirit? Because our flesh naturally wants to smoke and drink and eat too much and party and do everything that God is against. The Bible says that our flesh is “enmity” against the things and ways of God.
For example, I went to a conference for the weekend a couple of weeks ago with my church group. Friday, all day Saturday and all day Sunday we spent in church services. We all had a great time, but our “flesh” was worn out by the time we got back home! I had to take a day off work just to recuperate! If I would have gone to a rock concert or spent 3 days at a worldly festival, I would have been so pumped up by the time I got home. Why? Because the things of the world are what our flesh gravitates to, so naturally we aren’t going to be worn out by them.
In the Christian life, there is a war between our spirit-man and our flesh. It is a daily battle. The Apostle Paul said “I die daily.” It is a choice every day to live in the Holy Spirit and tell your flesh “no.” It’s hard sometimes, but the pay-off is so worth it! The incredible peace that comes with Christianity is what I just can’t live without. Then there are the eternal rewards that we can’t even imagine how wonderful they will be.
All in all, I’ll take life with God over a life in the world any day. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and I love it over here! You will too…