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April 13, 2020 Without the Spirit - Pastor Perry Windecker

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.


The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: 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. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25 NIV).


Reflection

In JRR Tolkien’s trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, in the book, The Two Towers, Gollum gets into an argument with himself, or should I say the two natures within him. Gollum, the evil deprived being he has become and Sméagol, the one who he once was. One starts to think, is there still good in him? As the conversation going back and forth, one way then the next, you start to believe that maybe good may win out. But then the evil, selfish, greedy nature of Gollum speaks the loudest and dominates the conversation and we realize that while good exist it is the evil nature that has the last say. Sméagol is subdued not to return.

See the issue here is simple, the passions and desires of his sinful nature had never been crucified by Sméagol. He was not filled with the Spirit to be called upon to drive out the darkness and depravity as we have. There has no help for him in Jesus Christ in this story. There was just Sméagol and Gollum battling it out and the forces of darkness and evil desires won out.


The good news is that if you have truly answered the door when Jesus knocked and let him into your life you have been made a new creation with all the strength and wisdom of the Spirit at your disposal. This battle between the sickness of original sin and holiness has God on your side; you can win. You can overcome the battle with addiction, the battle with selfishness, the battle with greed, and the battle with sin. Keeping in step with the Spirit is a beautiful thing, and a powerful thing.


Is the Spirit at work in you? Are you being transformed daily by His Spirit?


Are you struggling against this Spirit transformation? If so, how do you let go and let the Spirit lead you?

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