“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other.” -Galatians 5:16-17
Remember that old game of Tug-of-War? Line up the strongest guys on your side, wait for the signal, then dig your heels in, strain hard, and pull till it hurts.
I think of Tug-of-War when I consider the average Christian’s daily experience. It’s like two forces that wrench you in a fierce contest of push-and-pull—the Holy Spirit pushes you up and the flesh pulls you down. It’s a constant struggle to crucify the flesh and keep walking in the Spirit. To starve the old and feed the new. To reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God.
And who wins? It depends on whose side you choose to be. In this contest you are either on one side or the other and never in the middle. Every day you’re either following the claims of your fallen nature or believing the promises of God. Who prevails in this contest depends upon the attitude you adopt toward either side.
Every moment of the day, each decision you make, every choice and every thought is a chance to crucify the old and encourage the new. Remember, you can’t be neutral; you can’t remain in the middle. You are either walking in the Spirit or you’re not.
Lord, as I begin this day, I want to choose You and Your promises. As each hour, each moment passes, help me to keep choosing to walk in Your Spirit and thereby starve the desires of my sinful nature. I praise You for the difference You will make in my life.