As a follower of Jesus Christ, everyday is an opportunity, by the grace of God, to make right choices. By right choices I mean, each day, each moment I can choose to go God’s way or choose to go my own way. I can decide to follow God’s lead or to follow my own lead. I can do what God says to do in all circumstances or I can do what I want to do. It’s this battle all day long, and it’s tough!
The Bible calls this “my way” mentality sinful nature or the flesh. My sinful nature is: selfishness, self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-preoccupation, pride, envy, impatience, and on and on and on. And my flesh wants it’s way, it’s lead, and it’s agenda. Well, from experience I know that giving in to my flesh usually ends in pain, hurt or some other negative consequence. I can move through my day being “fleshy” and giving in to all those sinful habits and ways, or I can move through my day with God. Romans 8:5-6 explains it powerfully:
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
So how is it that I can win this battle? By the grace of God and by the power of God alone! That power can be found specifically in the person of the Holy Spirit. Left to myself, I’ll fail every time. But as I get to know God more (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), and spend more time with Him (in prayer, studying the Bible, going to church), then I’ll know more about what God the Spirit desires. And then in that time spent with Him, His Spirit changes my desires to desire what He wants for me. And then I just need to be willing to surrender my way and do it God’s way. Easy, right? Wrong! But God in His loving grace continues to patiently show me how to live in accordance with the Spirit and for my mind to be controlled by His Spirit so I can experience real life and real peace like the above scripture promises.