Friday, October 7, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Galatians

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Ah, Galatians. The futility of human effort and the balm of grace.  Several years ago, I did a small living-room women's Bible study.  The first book we looked at was James, and when we decided to do another study, I chose Galatians.  A balance, if you will, between doing and receiving.

There are a number of passages that are worth discussing, but the one I chose today is one that has been highlighted to me literally ever since I did that Galatians study so long ago. It *always* jumps off the page at me, regardless of what translation I'm reading.

I've got New King James in front of me this morning, and the verse is Galatians 5:16:

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Short and simple, but what a punch it packs.

There are two things that this verse always brings to consideration to me.  The first is that the 'lust of the flesh' isn't always what you think.

The word 'lust' brings connotations of drunkenness, immorality, debauchery...but the truth is, it just means 'consuming desire.'  We tend to forget that our 'flesh'...the selfish, sin-prone human nature...lusts for many things besides physical pleasure.  Sometimes that lust takes the form of  self-promotion (guilty), passing judgement on other folks (also guilty),  repeating a juicy bit of gossip (um, yeah, that one too); getting fed up with perceived injustices and telling someone off (who, me?)... I can pretty much sum it up as just a choice to do what I choose to do instead of what I know God desires for me to do in a given situation.

The other thing that hits me is walking in the spirit WILL offend my flesh.

This verse doesn't tell us that walking in the Spirit will REMOVE the lust of the flesh, it promises that walking in the Spirit will NOT fulfill those cravings that the flesh experiences.  In other words, there's going to be a continual battle between the two.  And you'd better believe that my flesh screams like a tantrumming two year old when its desires are denied.

But I cling to the promise that as I seek to walk more and more in the Spirit, I will be more and more able to ignore those tantrums and tell my flesh to speak to the hand, 'cause I ain't listening...


  1. Ouch, ouch, ouch! Stop stepping on my toes! ;-) As you, I'm guilty of many of these things also.

    So, the scripture that always stands out to me in Galatians is 6:2 - Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

    I really love that scripture. Sharing someone's load? Making their trial just a bit lighter? And in return - they do so for me. Unity, coming together. I can't even begin to say how many times, I've heard that preached. It's essential to living for Christ.

  2. Oh, yes!!! That's a good one!!! :-D