Flesh vs. Spirit – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Aug 1, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

I love coming back from vacation. In fact, coming home might be the best part. You can get back into your routine, you are energized and you are excited to see those you haven’t seen in a while.

While I was in Colorado I prayed a lot about what it means to live in the Spirit as opposed to living in the flesh. Paul says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

What is the difference between living according to the Spirit and according to the flesh? Take food—you need to eat so you need food. God wants us to eat and it is good to eat. But here’s the problem with food…it’s temporary. It doesn’t last. Eating today won’t make you feel good tomorrow. You must keep eating and eating. And even if you eat well every single day for your entire life, you will still die. Food cannot save you. Food cannot give you eternal life. Food ultimately does not satisfy in a meaningful long-term way. Food is fleeting, but it sometimes feels like it’s the most important thing.

Satan used food against Jesus. He asked Jesus, “Why don’t you make these stones into bread?” Jesus retorted, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Satan knew that Jesus was hungry and if Jesus broke his fast, Jesus would be saying that food was more important than God’s word. That is the difference between living according to the flesh and according to the Spirit. The flesh says, “I’m hungry and the most important thing is food.” The Spirit says, “regardless of my hunger or pain, God’s word is the most important.”

Food is just one example of what we use to replace God’s word; it could also be relationships, money, alcohol or anything else. Unfortunately, I believe that many Christians today are more concerned with what they feel/think than what God’s word says. A way to challenge ourselves is to ask two questions. In what way(s) am I tempted to live in the flesh? What would it look like to live in the Spirit?

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