BEING LED BY THE ACTS OF THE FLESH, OR SPIRIT OF GOD
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:19—26)
Paul speaks about two kinds of life: one led by the ACTS of the flesh and another by the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. ACTS OF THE FLESH are all produced in the heart of the individual. It is all about selfish desires. Every characteristic of this lifestyle points inward to self-gratification. It is selfishness on steroids.
The warning is quite severe to those whose life is being led by the ACTS OF THE FLESH. Those who live in this kind of lifestyle will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. The word inherit means to receive or become a part of God’s kingdom. It is pretty telling because there is NO ROOM for any of God’s kind of life to be a part of their lives.
They are full of themselves. They live for themselves and seek ways to gratify themselves with their desired and preferred lifestyles. Whenever a person is full of self, they have no room for any other or the Holy Spirit trying to be in that life.
But quite different from the life led by the Spirit of God. The fruit of a life led by the Spirit is evident toward others. It is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and against such things, there is NO LAW. There is NO law against loving too much, having too much joy, peace, and goodness, or being too faithful or gentle and having self-control. No one is being penalized for all these Spirit-led qualities in a person’s life.
But ACTS of the flesh needs laws to prevent the people led by it from harming others. It needs rules to regulate and laws to penalize people who are living sexually immoral lives, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like, because it is very destructive toward others.
The above-mentioned is how destructive a selfish person’s way of living is. Paul makes it very clear that my life and all of us must choose the life led by the Spirit of God. Many choose to live and act out the flesh. Exceptionally, few choose to be led by the Spirit of God to produce the fruits that will bless others. Ultimately, we must always choose the life that the Spirit of God leads for the blessing of us and those with whom we live among.
I desire and choose daily to be led by the Spirit of God. I want to be someone who shows forth the fruits of the Spirit in my life every day. The temptation to live a selfish life never stops just because I became a Christian. This is why it is so crucial for me to daily choose the life that the Spirit of God leads so I may not engage in the activities of the flesh.
Jesus, I pray, please live through me and lead my life with your Spirit so I may live according to statutes. Deliver me from the evil of my selfish desires. Forgive me for times that I cave into the pressure of temptations and forget who I am in you. Live through me and make me your child of whom you are blessed and proud of. Holy Spirit, lead and guide me daily so I may live a life that glorifies the Father. Amen!