I have to admit I have been roaming somewhere between Romans 7 and 8…somewhere between flesh and Spirit…somewhere between death and life. If you have no idea what I’m talking about let me explain by asking a question.
Have you ever been in a position where you want to do good and right but just can’t? You want desperately to stop doing that one thing you love to do but you know is wrong to do. You often find yourself in a quandary; wanting to do what is ethical, moral, honorable, proper, honest and decent, but just not finding the strength…or… forget that, you just don’t have the tools to perform it. Paul writes, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:18-19)
In Romans 7 Paul finds within himself this constant battle between mind and members, flesh and Spirit; even to the extent that he cries out in verse 24, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” I don’t know about you, but this dreadful cry resonates with me! “When I would do good evil is present with me!” (v. 21b)
However, in Romans 8, Paul gives the solution to our shameful problem. This is your shout cue! There is a solution for our dilemma! It is the Spiritual Life. More specifically our solution is in the Spirit of Life! “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death…For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” (8:1-2, 5)
We can either be in the flesh or in the Spirit. I guess now would be a good time for us to do some introspection and determine if we mind the things of the flesh or if we mind the things of the Spirit. Paul makes it very clear and simple. If the Spirit of God dwells in you, you are in the Spirit. If you do not have the Spirit of Christ you are not His. Now, let me be clear. This is not describing a good case of behavior modification or extreme legalism. Paul is describing the reality of the indwelling Spirit mortifying, or crushing the deeds of your body.
This Spiritual Life can only be lived and attained by the indwelling of the Spirit of God! I can reassure you that He is more willing to give us His Spirit than we are to receive His Spirit. With that in mind, won’t you walk after the Spirit today? Won’t you ask God for His Spirit? Won’t you live a spiritual life? Our job is not to stop living in the flesh. Our job is to walk in the Spirit!