When it comes to spiritual things, do you know why we do what we do?

The reason is this:

“The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17).

We do what we do because the flesh lusts or wars against the Spirit. We know it’s true. Deep down in our hearts, we know how sinful and selfish we are. When we look in the mirror we recognize our greatest enemy, sitting on our own shoulders. We are naturally destitute of the virtues of heaven.


But the verse also indicates that the Spirit lusts against the flesh.

Alleluia Holy Spirit!

“I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV).

Get out!

Did you just read what I read?

I think we need to read that again:

“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, KJV).

I can hear someone say, I have been walking in the Spirit but I’m still getting beat up.

Are you sure you’re letting the Spirit in? Nothing is blocking the Holy Spirit power in your life? Too much media, idle gossip, that judgmental self-dependent spirit, and, and . . .

Don’t get discouraged by your compromising, selfish self…

Yea, that. But wait a minute. Don’t get discouraged by your compromising, selfish self. Don’t listen to the enemy. You’re still in the fight. Still standing. The Spirit is still warring against the flesh, pulling us, convicting us, comforting us, helping us. The word “lust” in verse 17 traces back to the word for passion. It means “to immolate or slay.”

It literally reads, the flesh slays the Spirit and the Spirit slays the flesh. Again, the worldly man kills the spiritual man, but, and this is huge, the Spirit kills the worldly man. That’s why when you become spiritual you change. Your thoughts change, your words change, your actions change, everything changes; because the Spirit slays the worldly man. The things of this world die. They’re slain by the Spirit of God. We act differently. We talk differently. We walk differently. We speak differently. That’s why we do what we do.


James Rafferty

James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.