by Dena Green
Galatians 5:16-17 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.
The water was enticing as we walked along the edge of the rain-swelled river and my dog, Scout, wanted to dive right in. She is a Golden Retriever and it is the nature of her breed to want to get in the water and play. Every chance Scout gets, she runs to our neighbor’s pond and takes a harmless dip. This day was different; if I hadn’t kept a tight hold on her leash, she would have been carried away by the rushing waters. She had no sense of the danger of going too far into the water or being swept away, but I was there to protect her and pull her back to safety.
Isn’t that the way with us sometimes? Our “sin” nature draws us into situations and, if we are not careful, the desires of the flesh can swallow us up before we even realize it. We have entered dangerous waters. One lingering look or conversation with the opposite sex that leads to a broken vow; a drink with friends that leaves an insatiable appetite for alcohol; holding onto anger that turns to bitterness and more anger; gossip; an unequally yoked relationship; any compromise of God’s principles. The list is different for each of us. Fill in your blank- __________. But whatever your “blank” says, remember, you are not left alone to flounder in it! A careful study of Galatians 5 gives great insight into the desires of the flesh vesus the desires of the spirit.
As believers, we must be mindful of the Holy Spirit’s promptings. He lives in each of us if we are believers and lovingly reminds us and calls us back when we are entering dangerous waters. He is an abiding presence. Unlike Scout, who had a leash around her neck and could be physically pulled back to safety because I was holding on tight, we are given free will. His gentle promptings remind us. We must keep our spiritual ears attuned to him through prayer and reading the word. We must maintain our relationship with the Lord, walking and abiding in Christ so that we may discern the promptings and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts. We must OBEY his prompting in order to stay in the place of safety in our spiritual lives.
Maybe you have jumped into the rough water and the currents of sin are carrying you further and further from the place you need to be in your relationship with the Lord. One compromise has led to another. REACH OUT! We have an anchor for our soul. A lifeline that is always waiting to rescue us and restore our relationship when we call out for help. Jesus, our blessed Savior and the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. Our companion and help; the very presence of God who is always with us waiting to draw us back into the safety of an unbroken relationship with our savior.
John 14:26 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.