Galatians 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh. For these things are opposed to each other to keep you from what you want to do.
Contrary forces seem to plague most of creation. Consider marriage. Men and women are different; no matter what political correctness may dictate. It’s why marriage is so tough.
Our natures have opposing elements; particularly once our spirit is ignited after we come to Christ. I remember years ago sharing a room with a friend at a men’s retreat. He had just been baptized in the spirit and spoke in his prayer language for hours. I recall him laying in his bed and commenting,”All things are spiritual.” Nice thought but not true. As far as I know he is no longer following Christ. In fact, he is very much in and of the world.
Our nature is like a successful marriage. Success doesn’t come with one partner dominating the other; but with both putting the marriage first. In a successful marriage, the partners adopt and adapt. The union becomes more important than the partners.
If we are to be successful in our walks, we need to recognize the contributions of both flesh and spirit. Until heaven, we need the flesh to carry us around, to observe and communicate with our world, to be the hands of Christ. We need the spirit to communicate with our God, to restrain and direct the flesh, to inspire our lives.
If we ignore the spirit, we fail to grow in our knowledge and love of God and in our understanding of our role in His plan. If we ignore the flesh, we weaken our ability to care out that plan on this earth.
We may often feel as the writer of Galatians did that our flesh and spirit are at war. If we recognize the place of both, we can make a difference in the natural world led by the Spirit.
Some have used the analogy of horse and rider. We need to have the spirit provide the direction, to be the rider. When the flesh is in charge we are at risk.
Earth is not our home; but it’s where we are assigned for now. Get your orders straight and get to work.