God designed the human body to naturally have certain desires and cravings. We all know what these feel like. Whether it’s craving food, power, fame, money, a favorite drink or a particular person, sometimes we crave things so strongly that we will do just about anything to acquire them. Our Lord and Savior has given us an approach to handle these cravings, so they don’t get out of control. In Matthew 26:41(NLT), he tells us, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” This is very important information for us to know, because the enemy tested Jesus Christ, and he uses our cravings to test us. If we’re expecting God to bless us with the desires of our hearts, our commitment to stand guard and pray must be proven.
Through the Apostle Paul, God tells us in Galatians 5:16(NLT), “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” This is a very practical verse, and God is telling us exactly what we must do in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the one to take the lead. He is to lead, and we are to follow. This is God’s divine plan, and it will keep us from giving in to temptation, so we won’t do what our sinful nature craves. Here, we have a distinction of two natures, and one of them is the part of us that craves sinful things that go against God’s plan. It is our sinful nature, and Romans 8:7 tells us that this sinful nature is always hostile to God. It is corrupt through and through.
The other nature that Galatians 5:16 tells us about is the spiritual nature. It is the nature of our ‘spirit man’ that was recreated through our new birth experience. This is the transformation that took place when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. 2Corinthians 5:17(NLT) tells us, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Our spirit man was dead to God before we accepted Christ, but after we were saved, our spirit man became alive through Jesus Christ, giving us new life!
God’s people living in Old Testament times did not have the new birth experience. They had to offer sacrifices continually from the blood of animals to cover their sins, because Jesus Christ had not yet come to the earth and given his life as a sacrifice. It is different for those of us living after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We live through him, and because we do, we can stand strong through prayer and faith, and resist temptation that comes by way of plots and tricks from the enemy.
For many of us, if we’re being honest, even though we have the spiritual strength through Jesus Christ to resist temptation, we don’t. We have longings and cravings for certain things, and when we’re in relationships, some of us allow feelings and emotions to take over. Then we find ourselves in situations that are less than Godly. The body wants what it wants, but what it wants isn’t always good for our lives, and it’s not going to help lead us to the place where God wants us to be. So, if your mind isn’t renewed to the Word of God, you might easily let your cravings and emotions call the shots. This isn’t pleasing to God, and we must pray fervently and frequently to grow in Christ and let our Master Jesus call the shots, not our emotions or cravings.
Galatians 5:13(NLT) tells us, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” We are free from a life of sin and strife through Jesus Christ! This freedom should be used to serve others in love, and the eyes of God are on us to see how we do this. Our commitment to honor God through loving and sharing, and being obedient to Him, demonstrates that we are serious about the commitment to honor our marriage vows and to be the spouse He desires us to be. We cannot say that we have faith in God to present us with a compatible mate, yet we don’t demonstrate the faith to turn from sin like He tells us we can. Let’s make sure we are praying to God for the spiritual strength to stand strong when confronted with temptation, so that nothing the enemy does will destroy the wonderful plan God has for our lives. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“You May Want It but It’s Not Good for You” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.