Galatians 5:16-17 “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.”
Who is controlling you? The Bible says there are two forces that can guide what we do and how we act. These opposing stimuli are our sinful flesh and the Spirit of God. How we live our lives depends on which power is filling us.
Many years ago I made a friend. She was a cute, bright yellow haired, spritely little thing with a quick wit and sweet (but sharp) disposition. We spent a lot of time together and enjoyed many fun times teaching young children. I always knew exactly what she was going to do and nothing she said surprised me.
She became very jealous when I decided to marry Dad. She decided she needed to find a husband too, so she came to our wedding where she tickled the guests by asking if Dad had a brother. Uncle Matt unknowingly played into her scheme by standing up in the back and wildly waving his hands to announce his whereabouts. She took one look at him and quickly inquired, “Are there any other brothers?”
Everyone got a good laugh, but I was not surprised. The reason was that Dusty was my puppet. Everything she said or did, I orchestrated. Without me she could not act or respond, but when I slipped my hand into her body, she was free to move and speak as I directed. If someone else were to take her from me, she would have had a completely different personality. She was who she was because she lived through me.
As humans we have two choices as to how we live. When we gratify the sinful desires of the flesh it is because we are allowing our natural human disposition to guide us. These acts of the sinful nature are things such as sexual immorality, impurity, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, envy, drunkenness, and more.
But when we live by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Instead the fruit of the Spirit will be our predisposition. Our life will be characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
As humans we are different than a puppet because we can decide who will be our guide. Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. They choose to live by the Spirit and to keep in step with His leading.
Dusty, my puppet, is who she is because I am the driving force behind all her actions and words. Who is controlling you?