Galatians 5:16 - Living by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 (NIV) So I say, live by the 
Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the 
sinful nature.  


   Over the summer three of my children, 
eight years old and under, loved playing out front 
with their friends. We live in the back of the 
subdivision at the end of a cul-de-sac so it's typically 
safe. The problem is all of the trouble my little 
kids get into without direct adult supervision. 
Most of the time my neighbor or I are there, but 
there are times when we need to slip inside the 
house. It's during these times when one of the kids 
decides to cut someone else's hair or tackle each 
other on the asphalt. Without the watchful eye of 
an adult, little children tend to turn to 
mischief quickly. 
   The truth is I find myself doing what I 
ought not to do when I'm not mindful of oversight 
from the Holy Spirit. I make unwholesome media 
choices or choose to pretend I didn't see a friend 
at the grocery store instead of opening myself 
up to her. My flesh wants to gratify myself, 
hide my flaws, and not get too wrapped up with 
the needs of others, but this is not what 
Jesus's Spirit wants. 
   Walking by Jesus's Spirit is not 
complicated, but it does take surrender. It means pausing 
to pray and asking Jesus to meet you and fill 
you in the moment. Then it's listening to His 
still, small voice inside that urges you, not only 
to cease to do evil but to learn to do well. 
Only Jesus's Spirit will tell us what to cherish 
and cultivate in our hearts. When we give Him 
permission, He will guide us in doing what He desires in 
our lives. by Tricia Goyer 
   Faith Step: Pause this moment and ask 
Jesus's Holy Spirit to help you to stop following 
your own desires and instead strive to follow 
His. [Mornings With Jesus 2018 Devotional by 
Guideposts and Zondervan] 

   The Kingdom life is a matter of walking 
in the Spirit. That's not a controversial 
statement; virtually every Christian would agree with 
it. But not all Christians remember it on a 
day-by-day or moment-by-moment basis. Instead, we turn 
our attention to the flesh and try to stamp it 
out, starve it, get rid of it, or any other such 
direct approach. Human logic tells us that if we 
want to stop gratifying the desires of the flesh, 
we should focus on denying those desires. But 
this logic leads us only to frustration. 
   Think of the absurdity. Are we really 
going to be able to stamp out the power of the 
flesh in the power of the flesh? Is 
self-discipline really our best option when the self is the 
problem to begin with? Does any problem really get 
better by our obsessing over it? Or is there 
perhaps a better way? 
   Paul says there's a much better way, and 
it doesn't involve addressing the flesh at all. 
Instead, we choose to walk by the Spirit without even 
paying attention to the flesh. If we're filled with 
the Spirit and living by His direction and 
desires, we won't exactly have room for the flesh to 
grow stronger. Ignoring our misplaced desires may 
seem negligent and irresponsible - doesn't 
somebody have to deal with them firmly? - but 
focusing on them only honors their power. Pay them no 
attention. Invest yourself fully in the Spirit. Let 
that life overcome the one you're leaving 
   If what we focus on tends to grow larger, 
then the only way to become stronger in the 
Spirit is to focus on the Spirit. Or for another 
commonly used illustration, whatever you feed will 
strengthen, and whatever you starve will weaken. Just as 
God is not at all obsessed with His enemies, we 
don't have any reason to be obsessed with ours - 
even the ones within. Our only preoccupation is a 
holy connection with the Spirit Himself. In Him, 
we have everything we need to think, feel, 
desire, speak, and act in Kingdom ways. [The One 
Year Heaven On Earth Devotional by Chris 

Spiritual Living
   The Holy Spirit fuels spiritual living. 
This is where freedom resides and where fruit 
bearing takes place. The flesh is pre-conversion to 
Christ living; it is reliance on self to seek 
security. The Spirit is post-conversion to Christ 
living; it is reliance on God to secure earthly and 
eternal security. The Spirit and the flesh conflict, 
but the flesh has been put to death by faith and 
the Spirit has come alive. Spiritual living 
submits to Christ. Spiritual living thrives as we 
surrender daily to Jesus.  
   The way we became a Christian - by grace 
through faith - is the same way we continue as a 
Christian. Yet, the flesh tries to flaunt its old 
habits as teasers to entice us not to trust God. 
But we know better - its better not to boast 
in the flesh, but be humbled by the Spirit. 
When we walk in the Spirit we are empowered to 
bear the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit brings 
wisdom when we consider ways that are unwise. The 
Spirit brings conviction when we begin to drift 
from our convictions. The Spirit brings comfort 
when we struggle with discomfort. The Holy Spirit 
is heavens secret to spiritual living. 
[Wisdom Hunters Devotional re Gal. 5:25] 

Spiritual Living And The Word
   To "walk in the Spirit" means to have our 
daily lives under His control, and this means 
under the direction of the Word of God. "If we 
live in the Spirit" (this is salvation, being 
made alive by the Spirit), "let us also walk in 
the Spirit" (this is sanctification, allowing 
the Spirit to command and control our lives). 
Compare Eph. 5:18-24 with Col. 3:15-19 and you will 
see that to be filled with the Spirit is to be 
controlled by the Word of God, for the results are 
identical. "Walking in the Spirit" is not some 
emotional experience, detached from everyday life. It 
is the daily experience of the believer who 
feeds on the Word, prays, and obeys what the Bible 
says. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Spiritual Living Is A Relationship
   Christ in us can manifest His holiness if 
we will yield our flesh to Him.  This is not a 
human operation; it is a spiritual one.  Jesus 
installs His holiness in us by grace.  Not a 
once-for-all-time transaction, this is a daily, 
moment-by-moment striving to live more by the Spirit and less 
by the flesh. 
   Though becoming more holy is God's work 
in us, it is not a passive enterprise.  Our 
part is active, to strive and stain toward the 
high calling we have received.  God's part is to 
forgive our failings based on the merit of Christ's 
atoning death. 
   His will is that we become holy ... This 
kind of holiness is not the result of our own 
best effort... 
   The forgiveness of Christ makes us holy; 
He washed away our sin.  In reality, God in us 
- the Holy Spirit - makes us holy.  There is 
no possibility of holiness apart from His 
grace.  He calls us, He justifies us, He sanctifies 
us (makes us holy), and He will glorify us - 
all by His grace. 
   Our part is to surrender in faith; God's 
part is to implant the sanctifying Holy Spirit in 
us.  "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will 
not gratify the desires of the sinful nature" 
(Gal.5:16).  Because of His everlasting love, we know 
Him, and He is faithful to mold us into the 
character of His Son Jesus Christ - to make us holy. 
Patrick Morley; [Time with God SB] 

Spiritual Living Has Characteristic Fruit
   Love, joy, peace, patience.... The 
"fruit" of the Holy Spirit is the visible result of 
God's Spirit working within us. Yet there is a 
struggle going on in the heart: human nature versus 
the Holy Spirit. As a follower of Jesus, you are 
sealed with his Spirit. You have the Holy Spirit 
living in you, convicting you of your sin and 
effecting changes in your life to help you become more 
like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). But you have a 
choice every day. You can choose to follow your own 
desires or you can choose to follow the Spirit's 
   Paul says, "Let the Holy Spirit guide 
your lives." It is important to allow the Holy 
Spirit to control our lives because he produces 
character traits that are not natural for us, but 
which are found abundantly in the nature of Jesus 
Christ. Jesus is the "true grapevine" (John 15:1-5). 
By staying rooted in the vine (through things 
like Bible study and prayer), we allow the Spirit 
to produce fruit in us.  
   Submit every aspect of your life to the 
Spirit's guidance, keep in step with the Spirit's 
leading, and then watch for fruit to blossom in your 
life. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re 
Gal. 5:16-26] 




If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred