Knowing How to Please God

Galatians 5:17 ESV
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

Jesus warned the disciples in the Garden of Eden, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” People are normally dominated by the body desires and the temporal, physical world rather than flowing with the leading of God through the Holy Spirit.

Once the spirit of a person has been raised to life by the Spirit of God, the old desires of the flesh do not immediately disappear. There is a battle that rages on. That’s why Paul says in this passage, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh…”(Galatians 5:16–17).

A focus on what God’s Spirit desires for us causes us to see things from His perspective and react in ways that please God. A focus on popular culture, worldly philosophy, and conventional wisdom will inevitably cause us to take the perspective of “the flesh” and will warp our judgment.

Living in the world, we are constantly bombarded with the values and desires of the flesh. Unless we take steps to counteract those messages, we will find ourselves out of step with the Spirit of God who lives within us.

Lord, lead me and I will not stumble. Walk with me and I will not lean on the flesh. Hold me and I will clinge to You.

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