Scripture tells us a faithful Christian life can only be lived under the direction and power of the Spirit. That means we must walk by the Spirit and be lead by the Spirit. Otherwise, the desires of the world, our carnal self-centered nature, can consume us. Once we accept Christ as our Savior and make a commitment to follow His ways, we then must live by the Spirit. That does not mean we are to work our way to heaven. But, we must have a repentant heart that is willing to be of service to God and others.

Galatians 5:16 – 18 – “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.”

Our love for God and others, our commitment, obedience, how we live our lives and how well we trust in God will determine the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. There may be times when we will fail but, if we live by the Spirit, we will have a supernatural power that will help us overcome our selfish desires and lusts. You may wonder, how can one determine the power of the Holy Spirit in their life? I have found those who are truly committed, by reading their Bibles daily and having daily prayer, continually sensing supernatural events occurring in their lives. It requires a believer to expect these supernatural things to happen and recognize them and thank God for each one. We have friends that each time we meet we ask: tell us what has been a “God Thing” that has happened recently. They will then tell us things that have happened. A problem many Christians have is not trusting that the Holy Spirit will allow or cause certain things to happen. If you don’t expect the Spirit’s power, chances are you would not recognize when it happens. I believe, if you do not sense the Holy Spirit working in your life, you are not where you should be spiritually.

We have also realized that the Holy Spirit will urge us in our commitment to loving God and others. If this is not happening, you may be having a problem with your self-centered nature in conflict with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Our self-centered nature will put ourselves before everyone else. We may also find it difficult to surrender daily to being more Christ-like.

Often new Christians must be made aware that a war begins within them to see who will be allowed to guide their lives. (Romans 7:18 – 19 and 21 – 23 – “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing”….” So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

This causes many Christians to feel unworthy because of the war that is being waged within us between our self-centered nature and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is why I continually stress that being a Christian is not about feelings. It is about God’s promise to each believer. Once we receive the Holy Spirit we become God’s child and our inheritance is eternal life with Him.

Galatians 5:19 – 21 – “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.”

The Bible reminds us that most evil originates from within us and not always from Satan or the outside world. We may believe we were born morally good. However, the Bible tells us the opposite is true. We are inherently corrupt and depraved in every aspect of our being. Success, power or fame can do nothing to solve man’s basic problems of the sin that we have within. We know that salvation forgives our sins but it does not remove our self-centered nature.

Does the Bible tell us if we commit one of the above sins we will go to hell? It tells us if we practice or are an active participant we will. However, many Christians deal with hatred, jealousy, fits of rage and selfish ambition. If you are having problems with acts of a sinful nature, you should check your relationship with Christ and where you are spiritually.

Scripture goes on to help us measure our spiritually as found in Galatians 5:22 – 26 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Our self-centered nature, without control, permits a person to commit acts of a sinful nature. If we are filled with the Spirit, we will receive the fruits of the Spirit. Scripture tells us that a person filled with the Spirit and walking it the Spirit’s guidance will produce the fruits as described. It is an outward measure also of where we are spiritually. For it provides an indication of one’s salvation.

We are to become like Christ, who gave us an example as to how everyone should live.

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