Flesh Against Love

Flesh Against Love

In Galatians chapter 5 Paul describes the ongoing warfare that exists inside of each Christian.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Gal. 5:17

Just a few verses later he describes the results of the Spirit’s work, the outworking of his power and authority in the life of the Christian

But the fruit of the Spirit is  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control Gal 5:22-23

It would serve us to consider the implication of these two verses in that the flesh wages war against the Spirit and his fruit appearing in the life of believers.  To consider the first item on the fruit list as an example: The flesh, our flesh, our sinful nature, wages war against the Spirit in producing love in us.  Sin hates love. It hates love because love reflects the God who is love, and sin hates God. Sin hates love because sin is selfish, and prideful, looking to exalt self above all. Sin hates love because love is costly, requiring us to give up time, possessions, rights, vindication, for the sake of lifting up another. The flesh wages war against the appearance of love in us.

One way we could frame each and every day is as a battle for and against love. God, the Holy Spirit is fighting to produce love through us–costly love, sacrificial love, love that reflects our union with the self-sacrificing Savior. The flesh is battling to produce selfishness, the anti-love.  Over our lifetimes, the Spirit will win this war–but let us consider the battle that is today. Let us keep in step with the Spirit, walking by the Spirit, and strive to see His power defeat the flesh soldier waging war to crown ourselves king for the day.  Let us trample him in the mud, and raise up the banner of Christ, revealed in the sacrificial love of his people for Him and those around them.

Let us live to see today a victory for the Spirit producing the fruit of love, and the defeat of the flesh that fought for selfishness.  One day at a time, one battle for love at a time. Until our loving Savior returns and the war is over.