Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Cry for Help

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians5:16 NIV)

What does this mean?? To be honest, I don't know. 

But I have been thinking about it, and what I'm thinking is this. 'Walking by the Spirit' does not mean suddenly asking Holy Spirit for help every time you feel tempted to do something you're not supposed to do.

There are two reasons I think this:

1. Maybe the thing you think you shouldn't be doing really isn't a big deal. Don't misunderstand me here. I'm not saying we should do whatever we like, just that sometimes we think we shouldn't do something, and expend a lot of time and effort and prayer trying not to do it, and in reality God had more pressing things on his mind. Please don't assume something is 'wrong' just because people tell you it is, or because you enjoy it. People are sometimes wrong. When Romans 12 says 'Dont become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit in to it without thinking' it's not just talking about your workplace/school or the local pub. It also means the church.
Also... Enjoying yourself is allowed. God delights in our Joy.

2. Running on with life, not giving God a thought, getting on with whatever and then suddenly running to him for help with one thing does not sound like 'Walking by the Spirit'. Walking is a long, slow activity. Not a sudden, and brief sprint. Sounds to me like 'Walking by the Spirit' is something that should take up more of my life than the occasional panicked cry for help.

But what does THAT look like? Well... I don't know.

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. (Galatians 5:16 MSG)

Apparently it has something to do with our motivation and not being selfish. Hmmmmm.....


  1. James. It seems to me that verse 16: 'So I say to you: Walk by the Spirit...' is given as the answer to a previous question hinted at in verse 13, and probably goes along the lines of: 'I have been set free from having to obey the Law - at last! - but God wants me to live a life that is more loving, less selfish, more effective and more pleasing to him than my old life ever was when I was a prisoner of the Law of Moses. How do I enjoy my new-found freedom whilst keeping my sinful nature 'under arrest'? Well, in my experience, our sinful nature has more influence over us when we are alone (usually) and the Holy Spirit is a more mature companion who accompanies us in our walk of life. It is just so much harder to sin when we know that he is around! In the same way, Adam and Eve probably wouldn't have made that first sin if God had been visible in the garden at that moment. Andy

  2. That is a good point. Emphasis on the 'HAVE BEEN'. PAST TENSE!!
    To draw a parallel from one of my favorite films, The Princess Diaries' the awkward teenager learned one day that she was in fact royalty, but it took months of training, patience, and hanging out with other royals before she started to resemble person she had been since birth.