Acts of the Flesh

Acts of the Flesh 

Daily Reading: (Galatians 5:16-21):

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“Freedom in Christ” is the main point of Galatians chapter five. When we reach verse sixteen we have are introduced into the sub-header: “life by the Spirit”. So we have freedom in Christ expressed through life by the spirit.

Which what Paul is saying is “do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” The question really becomes, “how are we to walk by the Spirit and what does it mean to walk after the flesh?” Most people actually read this verse the other way around. “Do your best not to fulfill the desires or lust of your flesh, and then you’ll walk in the Spirit.” That is not what Scripture says or teaches us here. The Scripture teaches this not in the negative but in the positive. “walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” As you walk by the Spirit you won’t have to worry about the lust of the flesh.” Our focus has to be on walking in the Spirit. If you are focused on trying not to fulfill the desires of the flesh that is living your life under the Law. And if you live this way you’ll end up walking after the flesh. Walking after the flesh is an attempt to meet any of your needs apart from God.Romans 8:13 tells us this is a disastrous way to live.

So, how do we walk by the spirit or what is walking by the spirit? John Piper says, “It is “being led by the Spirit” and it is “bearing the fruit of the Spirit. You allow the Spirit to control you by keeping your heart happy in God. Or to put it another way, you walk by the Spirit when your heart is resting in the promises of God.” [1]

George Müller learned the secret of walking by the Spirit: meditate on the precious truths of the word of God until your heart is happy in God, resting in his promises.[2]

“Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” You will have victory over temptation and know the guidance of the Lord if you keep your heart happy in God by resting in his promises.

We get a better understanding in the Greek for the word “walk” (peripateō) which means to be led around. This brings us to Psalm 23:3, “He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” This is what it means to walk by the Spirit.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Habits of the flesh will all fall off as we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

The Spirit of the Lord will move you to a place of rest and refreshment where you cast your cares on Him. Troubles and stresses will come, but walk by the Spirit to the place of lying down in green pastures. Enjoy the feast God prepares for you in the presence of those plaguing enemies that have risen up against you. 

“Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:11 WEB)

 Rest is not inactivity—it is Spirit-directed activity. The opposite of being in God’s rest is being in unbelief.

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.” They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. I wanted to point out that the fight is not between you and the flesh, the fight is between the flesh and the Spirit.

Here is the good news: you are not under the Law any longer because we have freedom in Christ, freedom to live by the Spirit that He has placed inside us. Live as the new creation we have become. Live out of our new God-given nature that reflects His glory. Galatians 5:16 promises victory over the desires of the flesh, not that there won’t be a war, but that the winner of that war will be the Spirit.


[1] John Piper. The War Within: Flesh Versus Spirit. June 19, 1983. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-war-within-flesh-versus-spirit

[2] George Müller. Autobiography 152–154.

Hey, There Delilah

Hey There Delilah |Judges 16 | Samson is a Story of Rest |The Exhausting One Robbed Samson Of Rest – YouTube

Hey there Delilah

Daily Reading: (Judges 16:1-3):

“One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”

Samson was born to a man named Manoah (Judges 13). Manoah’s name means rest. Samson was born of rest (Manoah). God would lead His people into the Promised Land by crossing the Red Sea and the Jordan River to a place of rest. A place where they did not have to labor to enjoy the fruit of the Land (Deuteronomy 6). The Red Sea they crossed is a picture of water baptism, a picture of the cross, and it tells us that you cannot enter the promised land, without the cross and the finished work of Jesus.

Samson was born in the village of Zorah. His home is on a mountain where he looked down at the Valley of Sorek where Delilah was from. Sorek means choice vine- where we get grapes, and the best wine. Samson’s home overlooked the place known for the thing he was not permitted to do (Judges 13). 

“The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him” (Judges 16:5). Before temptation can betray us to destruction, it must woo us with some promise of satisfaction (Judges 16:5).

Delilah wasn’t able to make progress through seduction to gain his secret, so she started questioning Samson’s integrity instead. She said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies” (Judges 16:15).

Delilah seduced Samson (Judges 16:5), then she shamed him (Judges 16:15), and eventually she exhausted him (Judges 16:16). “When she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death” (Judges 16:16).Delilah’s name in Hebrew means “the exhausting one” (Judges 16:16).

What did Delilah do? She has robbed Samson of rest, by exhausting him. When Samson is out of rest, he will be in a place that will lead to the loss of his sight.

“So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man” (Judges 16:17).

How do you picture Samson (the man who killed 1,000 with a jawbone), in your mind to look like? I always pictured Samson as being the strongest man on the planet with big muscles. If that’s the case, why would they wonder about the secret of his strength? If Samson’s strength came from his physique then if you cut his hair, he still would have been stronger than most. Samson’s strength came from God, it was not of himself. In the story of Samson, we find God uses weak things so that He might be glorified.

We learn earlier in verse 13 that Samson has seven braids of hair on his head. Seven is a number of perfection and completion and also rest, because God made everything and on the seventh day God rested. We know his hair doesn’t represent his perfection, because he was imperfect with his interactions with Delilah. What the seven braids of hair represent instead is rest. He was born of rest. So, Delilah cutting his hair isn’t a separation of perfection, it is a separation unto rest. We had the clue from her name all along. She is the exhausting one. Samson stayed around the temptation so long it separated him from rest and it led him to reveal his secret.

What the Philistines did to Samson once they captured him is they gouge out both his eyes and now he is blind. When you lose your rest, you lose your perspective and your vision. Captured by his enemies, disoriented and blind is where Samson is at. But God is the God of a second chance. God is a God of hope. The Bible says: But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved” (Judges 16:22).

“Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. So that day he killed at his death more than he had killed in his life” (Judges 16:28, 30b).

At the cross, Jesus Christ saved way more than all He did in His three and a half years of earthly ministry. At the cross Jesus has healed more people than He healed in his three and a half years of public ministry. At Jesus’ death and Resurrection, He accomplished much more victory for us.

Look beyond Samson to see the shadow of a cross made by his arms stretched out between the columns. Picture Jesus on that cross crying out to God, fulfilling His destiny, the weight of the sins of humanity on His shoulders. Instead of praying for the destruction of the people around Him that day, Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive them. It was through His death that we might receive the salvation of the Lord.