There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too. —Frederick Buechner
When we step into freedom, there is more opportunity to make poor choices. So what keeps us—we who are free in Christ—from running toward sin?
Let’s be honest. If we are in Christ, sin can’t separate us from God’s love anymore. And consequences? Who has received consequences for every sin they’ve ever committed? No one, right? His grace gives us freedom, and His grace even withholds consequences.
So what keeps us from running toward a life of sin?
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
Paul is clear. The trajectory of our life—whether we walk in the Spirit or feed the desires of our flesh—is mapped by a decision. We can choose the Spirit, or we can choose the flesh.
What, exactly, is the difference between the two?
“Flesh” is not our old sin nature—that has died with Christ. Instead, “flesh” is anything one has—body, mind, emotions, patterns, heritage, education, etc.— that is outside of the divine resources of the Holy Spirit. When we depend on these “fleshly” resources, we are living independently from God. Walking in the Spirit, on the other hand, is living dependently upon God to live through us moment by moment in a dynamic, intimate dance.
If we are walking in the Spirit, we aren’t walking in the flesh. The flesh and the Spirit aren’t intended to coexist. And so, there’s a choice to make. So the question takes us back to your salvation: Were you only saved from separation from God? Or were you also saved to life in the Spirit?
Giver of Grace, thank you for the gift of choice. This freedom to choose is so full of grace. Show me this dance of dependence as Your Spirit leads. Amen.