If you are like me, there is a constant struggle to do what I know God wants me to do instead of what I want to do. This battle rages on every day. It is a constant struggle that we all fight. Some days my spirit wins and others my flesh. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where my spirit will win every time, but that doesn’t mean I should give up.
Galatians 5:16 gives us a few ways we can stop gratifying the cravings and desires of the flesh.
1. Walk and live in the Holy Spirit
I like how the Amplified version puts it. It says we are to walk and live habitually in the Spirit. That means that I have to do it consistently. It needs to be an every day practice of doing what the Spirit wants instead of what the flesh wants.
One of the ways we can do this is to fast. Fasting is a great way to deny your flesh and to give in to the desires of the Spirit. Use the time that you would normally eat to pray, read scripture or to help someone in need. By doing that, you weaken the strength your flesh has and strengthen your spirit man.
2. Be responsive to the Holy Spirit
All day long the Holy Spirit speaks to us to do something for someone in our path. We often ignore His voice or we choose not to do whatever it is. Either way, that is a lack of responsiveness to His voice and we are not only robbing ourselves of blessings, but also the person we are choosing not to help.
Being responsive means we need to purposefully decide each day to be open to hearing His voice and to doing what He asks. Each morning, I pray and ask God to open my eyes so that I can see others in need and to give me the courage to step out and obey when I hear His voice.
3. Be controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit
Being controlled is against everything in us. We are independent and want to stay that way. God says that if we want true freedom, we should give up our independence to Him. That means we need to give Him control of our lives and allow Him to guide us.
When we are guided by the Spirit, we will do the things the spirit wants us to do. We will be able to overcome the desires of the flesh that keep us from doing what He wants. We will see others like never before and make a difference in other’s lives like never before.
If you are not satisfied with your ability to do what God asks you or to deny your flesh, then there is room for growth. All of us have an opportunity to grow, but not all of us look for those opportunities where we can. If you truly want to beat your flesh then learn to live and walk habitually in the Spirit, be responsive to Him and then be controlled and guided by Him. In doing this, you will no longer give into the desires of the flesh that keep you from doing what God wants.
Here is a prayer provided by Michael Moak that you can pray to help you.
Today I face new challenges and move one step closer towards Your will for my future. And because I’m not You, I know that I have the ability to destroy everything that is good in my life and to allow the weights and pressures of this world to control my actions and emotions. So, I need You today more than yesterday. Jesus. I need Your peace and your presence to sustain me as I endeavor to follow and obey your direction for my life. Show me the path in life that you have constructed and designed for my gifts and talents. And when things get tough, and I know they will often, help me to realize that my own strength and abilities are far too small and ineffective to make the difference that Your single hand can work on my behalf in a fraction of the time. I lean on you today, Lord, for the love and power that only You can give to man. Help me to also rest in the assurance that I don’t have to come up with all the right answers or make every decision perfect. I can trust in the undeserved grace of Your favor to carry me through this day with the happiness, joy, and peace that comes from my relationship with You. Today I face new challenges but You have the already gone before me and are turning them into opportunities for Your glory to work wonders through my life. Thank you Lord for loving me enough to trust me with today! I pray all this in the mighty name of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen