I don’t need to remind you that we live in a world surrounded with all kinds of temptations to satisfy our fleshly desires.
Unfortunately, we as Bible believing Christians are not doing a good job of resisting those fleshly temptations.
In an article published in Christianity Today in 2005, Ron Sider summarized the depressing data. The incidence of divorce, premarital sex, use of pornography and several other markers is not that different between Bible believing Christians and non-Christians.
There is no evidence that this trend has changed in the last 9 years.
It seems that Christians may believe in Biblical standards of behavior but are unable to attain them.
In today’s verse, Paul gives us a critical key to help us overcome those fleshly desires.
That key is to first walk by the Spirit.
When our attention is placed on walking with the Holy Spirit, we pay less attention to fleshly desires and they consequently have less effect on us.
But instead of first walking by the Spirit, we prioritize resisting temptation, usually through our own strength.
That sets us up for failure.
Our strategy is to resist…
God’s strategy is for us is to walk…by the Spirit.
Walk first…resist second.
Peter tells us to resist the devil in 1 Peter 5:9. But the best way that we can resist the devil is through walking by the Spirit.
When we walk by the Spirit, our hearts and minds are set on the things above. The things below become distant from our hearts and we are better able to resist the temptation to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Practically, we initiate walking by the Spirit when be begin each day spending time reading Scripture and in prayer.
Requesting the Spirit to inhabit and empower our activities through the day.
Increasing our awareness of His presence…
Increasing our submission to His leading…
Increasing our reliance on His power…
A walk that continues today…
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me to walk with You today, aware of Your presence and in submission to Your will, so that I will not gratify the desires of my flesh.