Monday – Walk by the Spirit
By David Dickmann
“But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
In Romans 7, Paul details his inner struggle with his sinful nature (“the flesh”). The war going on inside of Paul is very evident, and to read the account is excruciating with its emphasis on sin and death. But it is the account of the inner life of every true believer in Christ Jesus; the longing to live in holiness before the Lord; the awareness of how far short (and how often) we fall from that standard. It can be paralyzing.
Years ago, a sister in the Lord pointed out to me that the first-person pronouns “I” and “me” appear an inordinately large number of times in Romans 7. In fact, my Bible software program counts 41 times: “I” ─ 29 times, “me” ─ 12 times. Romans 7 is an examination of self, and as Paul found by examining himself, such examination leads to despair. The final verse of Romans 7 provides the only ray of hope in a dark situation, “Who will deliver me from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
So how can we who have come to Christ live for the Lord when we have such an inward struggle going on? The answer in Romans 8 is “live by the Spirit,” live by the power of the One who gave us life in the first place. Live by the power of the One whom Jesus called “the Helper.” If God chose to save us and give us life by His Spirit, He will also give us power to live for Him by His Spirit. He will even raise our bodies from the dead by His Spirit!
In Romans 8, “I” is not used at all; “me” is used two times, but “Spirit” is used 21 times! We, like Paul, need a change of focus. We need to get our minds off ourselves and set them on the Helper – the Spirit of God.
You need to remember that if you have come to Christ, you are considered holy in God’s sight. When you sin, God sees you through Christ. Your sins are wiped away. You have been made alive!
In Galatians 5:16, Paul summarizes the way to live the victorious life, “But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” It’s not about what you do for God, but about what God the Spirit does in you. Get up from your sin you who are alive and live for God!
Bible Reading Plan - Day 1