Joyce Meyer – The Spirit vs. the Flesh


Walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh “of human nature without God.”

— Galatians 5:16 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Hearing from God Each Morning – by Joyce Meyer

Like a horse that’s been trained to keep its ear always tuned to the voice of its master, we need to be willing to follow all of God’s instructions, not just those we feel good about or happen to agree with.

To genuinely follow Him, we have to tell our flesh (the unrenewed, carnal part of us that isn’t like Jesus yet) no at times, and when that happens, the flesh suffers and doesn’t like it. There are times when we’re galloping full speed ahead in one direction when suddenly God tells us to stop and go in another direction. We won’t always like what He asks us to do, but His way of doing life always ultimately turns out better than our way.

In the verse for today, the apostle Paul writes about the constant fight between the Spirit and the flesh. If we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we won’t satisfy the desires of the flesh that lead us away from God’s best. This verse doesn’t say that the desires of the flesh will disappear; we’ll always have to wrestle with them. But if we choose to be led by the Spirit, we won’t go after fleshly desires, and the devil won’t get his way in our lives.

As we grow closer to God, we can sense that a war in going on in us (see Romans 7:21-25). Our flesh and His Spirit in us usually disagree, and we’re often tempted to keep the flesh comfortable. But as we learn to submit to God’s Spirit, we’ll begin to overcome fleshly desires and temptations. Determine today that you will not let your flesh lead you, but that you’ll follow the Holy Spirit’s voice in all that you do. When you do, you position yourself to receive God’s best.

Prayer Starter: Lord, please help me follow Your voice and leading today instead of letting my flesh lead my decisions. Thank You for giving me the grace and strength to start overcoming any fleshly desires or temptations, and for guiding me toward Your best. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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