Contrasts

Romans 8 is a great chapter of contrasts. It magnifies the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit. Verse 8 Amplified says, “But then those who are living the life of the flesh (catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature) cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.”

Verse 9 NKJV says, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…” When believers walk in the flesh, we are living a lie. We have been bought with the tremendous price of Jesus’ shed blood. We have been set free to walk as Jesus walked.

The key is who we allow to control our thoughts and actions. Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Verse 17 goes on to say that our flesh opposes the Spirit, and the Spirit opposes our flesh.

The Holy Spirit’s role is to lead us into truth that will set us free. The enemy of our soul wants to take us back as his captive. Therefore we persevere as we intentionally remember what Jesus did for us. Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

Something dead has no response. Now we have been made alive, and therefore able to response to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. The end of Romans 8:9 says, “…Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us at salvation.

Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” As sons, we have a loving Father that disciplines or trains us through our trials and adversities. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

The Holy Spirit leads us into truth that will set us free. He course corrects us as we read the word and observe to do it. We can make practical application to our lives at the moment we are reading. In my own experience, when the Holy Spirit highlights a verse that I am reading, I stop and take note. I write it in my journal and ask Him questions. As He leads me to confirming verses, He is right then directing my thoughts and actions to conform to His revealed will through that verse.

Today I encourage you to remember what the Lord has done for you through Romans 8:37. Referring to verse 35, it says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” His love empowers us to follow the Holy Spirit into truth, rather than the lies of the enemy set to trap us and bring us down. May you grow in your sensitivity to following the Holy Spirit.

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