16 So I say, live by the Holy Spirit’s power. Then you will not do what your desires controlled by sin want you to do. 17 The desires controlled by sin do not want what the Spirit delights in. And the Spirit does not want what the desires controlled by sin delight in. The two are at war with each other. That’s why you are not supposed to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the authority of the law. 19 The result of sin’s control in our lives is clear. It includes sexual sins, impure acts and wild living. 20 It includes worshiping statues of gods and worshiping evil powers. It also includes hatred and fighting, jealousy and fits of anger. Sinful desire is interested only in getting ahead. It stirs up trouble. It separates people into their own little groups. 21 It wants what others have. It gets drunk and takes part in wild parties. It does many things of that kind. I warn you now as I did before. People who live like this will not receive God’s kingdom.
v17 “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”
Tension – I live in the tension between my former sinful nature and my new spirit-directed nature. My old sinful nature is the opposite of my new spirit-led nature. My sinful nature seems to be my default nature – the easy option – the one that looks after me first. But the tension builds when I am directed by the Holy Spirit to live out of my new Spirit-led nature.
I am NOT trapped – I have a choice. While there is clearly tension between my old nature and my new nature – I am free to be led by you – Holy Spirit. Your grace – Your enabling power – works with me when I choose to follow your directions. When I sense the tension in me – I need to stop and listen. You will direct me to live free from my sinful nature.
Forgive me for the multitude of times that I don’t stop and listen. You are so patient in your guidance, ever ready to lead me. Thank you. Help me be more sensitive today to what you are saying to me and ready to obey you.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn