Conversations on the Spirit vs. Flesh
With Rachel Hull
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25
Over the past week, my friend Rachel and I have been talking in depth about the concept of living in the Spirit – and how this is the fundamental fabric of the Christian life. Without being in the Spirit, nothing we do pleases God, or really amounts to anything from an eternal point of view.
To be “in the Spirit” means to be completely possessed by Him, leaning not at all on human wisdom, strength or understanding. We must learn to have complete and utter dependence on the Spirit’s leading. He must be the One sitting on the throne of our life, to a point that seems completely impractical.
Imagine a person who makes no decisions for themselves, but they only do what they see their master doing. In fact, they don’t even say a thing unless they are simply relaying a message from their master. That would be a totally impractical and inefficient way to live, right?
Check this out: “So Jesus explained, ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.’” John 5:19. And later Jesus also says, “I don’t speak on My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say.” John 12:49-50
Jesus lived a life totally in the Spirit. Though He was God, He lived fully as a man, demonstrating for us the way we ought to live and that it’s possible to be fully and only empowered by the Holy Spirit. Not only is this a possibility for us, this is the exact thing that we are called to. In John 17:18-21, Jesus prayed for Christians that we would be unified just as He was one with the Father, and that we would be in Jesus and the Father, just as the Father was in Him and He was in the Father. That totally dependent relationship, being totally possessed by the Holy Spirit is our calling. And God has given us exactly what we need so that we can walk in this: the Holy Spirit. “You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.” Romans 8:9b.
We wanted to invite you into some of our conversations on what this looks like practically. We have been talking about what genuine faith is and what it truly means to have a relationship with God. What does God ask of us? There are many things we “do” for God, and we may fool many people (including ourselves) into thinking our actions are pleasing to God, when in reality these actions are coming from and for ourselves. A truly free, rewarding, and God-pleasing life is marked by a very distinct and unique attitude of the heart. Please join us over the next few days as we explore how this relates to all areas of our lives.