In Galatians 5:16-26 there is an interesting passage that is titled, “Living by the Spirit’s power”. In verse 16 Paul sets the scene when he advises us to “let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves”.
Paul then goes on to explain in verse 17 that our sinful nature loves to do evil and that is exactly opposite to what the Holy Spirit wants us to do. He reiterates this thought when he adds that the Spirit’s leadings are opposite to the sinful nature and that there is a constant choice we have to make to do what is right.
In verses 19-23 Paul gives us some examples of both the fruit of the sinful nature and the Fruit of the Spirit. This helps us to see clearly that if we follow the sinful nature we will be involved in sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Conversely if we live by the Spirit’s power we will display good fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The thing I like about this passage is Paul makes it very clear which fruit belongs to which nature. This makes it easy to honestly assess how we are going and to see if we are reaping the fruit of our sinful nature or if we are living by the Spirit’s power.
How are you going in your walk with the Lord? Are you walking and living by the Spirit’s power or are you living according to the sinful nature? If you find that you have gotten off track, remember God is always ready to welcome you home, just like He welcomed the Prodigal son home, He ran towards the wayward son and restored Him to the family (Luke 15:11-27).