“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:17 NIV
To me, this verse explains much of what is going on in the world right now. When left to our own devices, our flesh is constantly in direct opposition to what God wants for our lives and the kind of fruits He desires us to grow and share with the world.
Based on the way some people are treating others, (it takes two whole seconds to find an example of hatred and unkind behavior when you hop on social media these days) I think it’s safe to say that most are operating out of the flesh, not the Spirit. Even as believers we are not immune to the desires of the flesh. We frequently demonstrate fleshy fruits in interactions with others, even other believers!
The devil is having a blast sitting back and watching us all destroy each other. How easily we as a society have fallen into his trap of hatred for our neighbors simply because they think differently than we do.
But how wonderful that God has given us the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8 explains Life through the Spirit:
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 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.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
It’s time to ask the Holy Spirit back in, friends.
There is so much to glean off that passage. The bit about all of creation groaning? It seems there is too much to process happening at lightning speeds in our world today. It’s hard to keep up, let alone comprehend. But what a beautiful promise from God for those moments when we just don’t understand or know where to even start in v26:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
The next time it all feels like it’s too much, like it’s crashing down and you don’t know what to say--rest in His presence. He knows how many hairs are on your head, He has collected your tears, He keeps record of all your days. He loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son so you could spend eternity with Him someday. He gave us the Holy Spirit as a guide and comfort on the good and bad days. He knows the pain you are in and how hard this is. He sees you in all your weakness and still says: “Her...I want her.” [or him ;)]
Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind! (2 Tim 1:7)
Happy Digging, friends!