Living by the Spirit - January 23, 2023
Monday, January 23rd
Devotional written by Pastor Jason McMaster, Executive Pastor
LIVING BY THE SPIRIT
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
In this passage, Paul explains that living according to the Spirit brings life, while living according to the body brings death. The good news is that our flesh no longer has any claim over us – there is no longer any condemnation – Christ and His amazing grace have freed us. As followers of Christ, we have been freed from our flesh. And yet, we can either do what pleases God, or we can do what pleases us. Pursuing what pleases Him each day brings us life, hope, and true freedom.
In Galatians 5:16-17, Paul explains that the flesh and the Spirit are still in conflict with each other. Paul understands well that followers of Jesus Christ can still sin and are still tempted by sin. Therefore, Paul encourages us to follow the Spirit and live the life God intended for us. Through His Spirit and strength, we put to death the deeds of the body. In James chapter 1, we are reminded that living according to the flesh does not come from God “for God cannot be tempted by evil” but rather from our “own evil desire.” Therefore, we cannot blame God for our selfish desires and sinfulness. It’s on us. We must recognize that we need Him all the more since we could never do this alone. Our amazing God loved us so much that He paid the price for our sins and gave us His Spirit to live by.
Final Thought: For today: Have you examined your heart and looked to His Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, choices, and actions? Today, surrender to His Spirit. Offer to do what pleases God – and only what pleases God.