FEED THE MONSTER: FLESH VS. SPIRIT

Pastor Christy Johnson started a new series on Sunday called “Feed The Monster.”
She began to explore Galatians 5 and showed us what it means to walk in the Spirit
as opposed to walking in the flesh (the monster).

Despite the fact that our flesh and our spirit are constantly at odds with each
other, we are called to live by the Spirit and to live in freedom. Galatians 5:1 states,
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” If freedom is not evident in our
lives, then Jesus died in vein.

Paul states in Galatians 5:13 that we were called to be free and to not use our
freedom to indulge in the flesh but to serve one another in love. Why then do we let
sin rule over us? His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If we are not walking in
freedom, it’s by choice, not circumstance. It doesn’t matter what cards life has dealt
us; we have no excuse not to believe that we can get out of the sin that entangles us.

In everything we do we produce either the fruit of the Spirit, which is love,
joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,
or we produce the fruit of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,
dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

We face the tension between living by the Spirit or by the flesh everyday. For
example, when someone cuts us off when we are driving on the freeway, we have
the choice to respond in anger or gentleness. It’s a process of choices that lead us to
living by the flesh or by the Spirit. For example, we don’t just become addicted to
pornography overnight. You may think one image here and there won’t affect you,
but what you feed, you empower. The more you give into “the monster,” the more
control it has over you. The opposite is true as well. Every time you starve the flesh,
you empower the Spirit.

There’s no doubt that we will be tempted with sin. Even Jesus was tempted
(Matthew 4:1-11)! Don’t shame yourself when the monster knocks at your door. Be
ready with the word of Truth. In order to live by the Spirit, it is vital to know what
God thinks about you and the promises He has spoken over your life. Simply spend
time in His presence and read His word. What you believe about yourself
determines the environment that you live in.

You may be thinking, “Well, what does it matter? My sin only affects me.” Not
according to Galatians 5:15. In the Good News Translation it compares living in the
flesh to living like wild animals: “But if you act like wild animals, hurting and
harming each other, then watch out, or you will completely destroy one another.”
Living by the flesh not only destroys you but those around you. Paul warns us that if
we decide to live by the flesh we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. We must take
control over the monster that taunts us and believe without a shadow of a doubt
that Jesus came to set us free and has empowered us to live a Spirit led life!