“I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance - as I told you before - that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.”
The more we abide in God’s word, the more we can sense the Spirit’s work in our lives. It’s easy to act in opposing ways to the Spirit and respond in our fleshly ways when we are not spending as much time reading the Bible, praying, or in fellowship with other Christians.
These verses are convincing and encouraging. They paint a black and white picture of how life looks when we live full of the Holy Spirit vs when we live influenced by the world and our human desires. The desires of the flesh are all selfish and deserving of punishment under the law, thankfully our gracious Savior Jesus Christ came and died on the cross for all those sins and took on the penalty of the law for all humanity. This does not give us freedom to give in to these desires, it gives us grace when we do. As we grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord, the desires of our hearts change and we begin to look more like Christ and we take on His characteristics, or fruit of the Spirit, in verses 22-23a.
“Against such things there is no law.”
I think this is the most powerful sentence in this passage. There are so many laws, regulations, and consequences for selfish actions and following the desires of the flesh. But there is no law, or in other words, there is freedom when we live in full fellowship with Jesus and bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives as a witness to Him. When we experience the fullness of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that’s when we experience the fullness of God, who He is, and who He created us to be.
As sport industry professionals there are many unique challenges, temptations and fleshly traps that are easy to fall into.
What fleshly things do you find yourself desiring and being tempted to follow - status, money, success, wins, etc.?
What fruit of the Spirit seems most lacking in your life right now?
As the Lord to give you strength to deny your fleshly desires and pray the fruit of the Spirit over yourself