How do we resist the devil’s temptations? How do we know the Holy Spirit is in us? How do we live a life by the Spirit? The answer to these questions are vital to know for a Christian, so we are going to answer them in this study on living by the Spirit. Let us begin this wonderful study.
First we must realize that there are two forces fighting for our souls. God and Satan. Satan wants us to be his to live in torment and anguish forever. God wants to give us eternal life. When put in this way, it seems easy to choose which one we will let win. However, it is not that easy. The desires of the flesh, or sinful desires that Satan wants us to give in to, will lead us to death. And those desires are everywhere. The world is filled with fleshly desires and sin and everywhere we look there is a temptation to lead us to sin. So how are we supposed to overcomes such an evil force that surrounds us? The Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16-18 says, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”. If we are walking by the Spirit, that is being led by the Spirit and it’s desires, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh and those temptations because the Spirit cannot gratify evil. That does not mean we will not sin ever again. However, it does mean that we are not going to be overtaken by the fleshly, evil desires because our mind and spirit are set on spiritual things. Colossians 3:2 tells us to, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”. Paul is saying to set our minds on heavenly things, spiritual desires. Not on earthly things where there is evil and sin.
So what is it that we should desire, what are the “spiritual” things we should be focused on? We have the answer to that too in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The characteristics, or “fruit” of the Spirit are things we should be desiring to be and have. We should desire to love, and to be faithful, and have self-control. If we are walking by the Spirit, those are the qualities we should be showing and desiring.
We must also realize that the Spirit does not leave us, it is we who may leave and desire the earthly things. John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever”. If we do find ourselves wandering away and not living by the Spirit, we can repent and God will forgive us of our sins (1 John 1:9).
In conclusion, we must desire to live by the Spirit and desire spiritual things. We will sin, we will give in to temptations for we are not perfect. But we must desire the spiritual things so that we do not lose our way. We must live by the Spirit.