"The Greater Life" - Spirit Led Singleness (Part 2) by David Skidmore

There are two primary ways that I live. One is Spirit-led satisfaction, and the other is Flesh-based fulfillment. Paul talks about the flesh a lot in the Bible. It is the part of us that wants to gossip, act out on lust, and the flesh causes us to crave every evil behavior, even the illusion of power and control. The challenge we face is this: Our flesh lies to us about the fulfillment of sin. The flesh promises to fulfill you, but the promise is hollow. Lust does not fulfill. Neither do gossip, control, bitterness, anger, or greed. Every kind of sin promises fulfillment as you act on it, yet the fulfillment is only an illusion. We are fish swimming through the lake, not noticing the hook attached to the bait. When we bite on the illusion of fulfillment, it causes something worse than pain in our lives. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23.) Sin causes something inside of us to die. In our hearts. In our minds. In our love. And all of this is based on the illusion of fulfillment. You end up unfulfilled and worse off than you started. The good news is there is another way, as I’m calling it now, Spirit-led satisfaction. Paul writes, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:17-18

Why won’t you gratify the desires of the sinful nature? Because you are being filled by the Spirit with that which satisfies. Paul continues, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23.)

If you think about the fruit of the Spirit, the only way for it to grow in your life is to trust God. You cannot make any of them grow. You cannot create them. They are the Spirit’s fruit. And fruit is meant to be enjoyed. It is healthy. Others will enjoy it. You will enjoy it. The fruit of the Spirit is meant to satisfy you, because these virtues are from God and God loves to satisfy us. (Isaiah 58:11, Psalm 145:16.)

You live a greater life when you let the Spirit lead you. Your life becomes more full of God’s ways, and the fruit of the Spirit begins to crowd out the evil in your life. You “go out in joy, and are led forth in peace.” (Isaiah 55:12)

Let’s focus on this verse this week as we live the greater life in the Lord. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16.)

David Skidmore