Our genetics, DNA makes up a lot of who we are. Many talk about how our frame of reference, the things we lived with and experienced growing up, affect who we are. Some talk about family (generational) curses, addictive and destructive behaviors, that are passed down.
But scripture tells us this
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
God knows our beginning and our end but as far as we are concerned our future is unwritten. We do not have to fall prey to any of the things I just listed…unless we choose to, we can break the cycle…Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Yes, there are battles with our old nature….we are renewed in Christ, our spirit is made new, we are cleansed by the blood of Christ and making it to heaven. God always provides a way of escape in every situation, but sometimes we choose not to escape, not to overcome. It is a process we call sanctification, choosing, every day, to become like Christ.
We have a fleshly nature to overcome in order to become everything God has ordained us to be. However, we must choose
You don’t have to become the liar, thief, alcoholic, drug addict, negative, fearful person as your parents or even perhaps your community is….you can choose to be different. To be honest, our nation needs you to choose to be different.
You were created to live a life full of love joy peace hope it begins by coming to Christ…the world tells us we have to conform to the image of our parents, culture, tribe, but if we are willing to lay down our agenda and accept His we will have a glorious ride in this life but the things of life that are our greatest reward often are a battle to obtain and this glorious life is the same
The scripture tells us of this battle…you see Satan has no right over us once we come to Christ, but our flesh is part of our human nature that must be defeated in order to fulfill our destiny.
You may have been battling with stuff for your whole lifetime and I believe the Lord is saying to us today that we no longer need to live there that today is the day you realize your life is unwritten and you can begin to walk in the freedom joy, love, hope, the Lord has planned for you!
Let’s look at the battle
Galatians 5:19 -21
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
That just about covers every possible sin we can live in and if your particular battle is not listed there, it is covered under the phrase “and other sins like these” so don’t feel left out today!
Please this is not I’m going to beat you up about your sin kind of teaching. But I do need you to hear me today. Paul is contrasting the walk of the Spirit versus the walk in the flesh.
He lists the blessing of the Spirit in the next verses
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Both of these lists are plans for you. The first list gives you the fruit of your life if you choose, even after you have committed your life to Christ, to follow the work of the flesh the other is allow the Spirit to take hold and the one eliminates the other.
Let me explain
Paul begins with listing sexual sin, the things filled with lust, impurity in thought, words or action, all of the things that included, rob us of real love. God wants our love for our spouses, family, friends to be pure mutual giving of love to each other. Everything that this category includes is selfish, demeaning, and does not build anyone up. He wants us all to know, live, and experience real love just for us
Then he lists two religious’ sins, idolatry and witchcraft. They are our trying to control our destiny, denying God’s love and design for us. It is choosing to believe we can place power in other “gods” to fulfill us or in altered states, which is the true meaning of witchcraft. Rather than building a love relationship with the Lord we make gods of our own to try to control our destiny. When God promises he will be faithful to His promises, to fulfill us, all we have to do is believe him. He promises, by the Holy Spirit, to guide us
Then Paul lists the societal evils the things we do when we really don’t trust the Lord and love the way we should. God’s plan is for us to have real joy not fake joy through getting drunk, high or have drunken parties that leave us empty. He wants us to have real friends and learn to trust them and be secure in our relationships knowing that God will give us all we need and defend and protect us from the evil around us so we don’t need to be jealous, envious, we don’t need to spread nasty rumors, lies and tear others down. We can enjoy real friendships with real people who love us just for us and will stand with us even in difficult times.
We may have seen our parents, those in our culture around us all act in a way that deliberately sabotages our potential for love, joy, success, hope and freedom but that does not need to be our outcome….our future is not etched in stone because of our heritage and culture it is new, clean, pure and yet to be written by our choices….let’s look at a few versus prior to what we just read.
Think with me for a moment about the things you do, the attitudes you have because of the way you were raised the things people told you or “prophecies” they spoke into your life, the battles you have in your life with some of the things I mentioned earlier….the negative things don’t need to be a reality, they don’t need to happen….you can choose a different path…Paul explains how
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
Paul describes the battle between our two natures the one we tried to control by obedience to the law (which fails every time). The other surrendered to the Spirit. Now your saying, I am already filled with the Spirit, I am saved so I shouldn’t be having these battles…Paul is saying, “let the Holy Spirit guide your lives” another translation, “walk in the Spirit”
We must choose every day to surrender to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. As long as we live in this fallen world even though we are created new our human flesh is at war with our spirit and the Holy Spirit waits for us to choose to depend on Him…when allowed to do so…the Holy Spirit will completely block the evil cravings passed down from generations, from our culture.
Here is where faith kicks in…
we recognize our human failures, we recognize the familial and cultural patterns but we don’t want to live that way…we ascend to the knowledge that God wants us to live in all of the fruit of the Spirit but can get there by being good enough, wise enough, educated enough, self-willed enough or we would have done it on our own already….
Thank God for God! He has given us his Spirit that when we choose to depend on the Spirit by faith, choosing to believe he is going to do it, even if we don’t see it right away, then we win.
Our future is not written by our heritage, family dynamics, generational curses, cultural failures but instead written by us every day, bringing our flesh under the rule of love, under the Spirit’s leading.
It is a choice we must make every day; I believe that is part of why Paul said, he “died daily” and why Jesus challenged us to, “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him.” It isn’t for our pain but for our blessing it is to break the curses of our own flesh and for us to walk in the freedom God has for us.
God has given you dreams, ideas, desires for your future…none of those can or will be fulfilled by the flesh. God’s dreams can only be fulfilled by God-purposed people.
What are the things that you battle, the things you want to change, fears you want to overcome, attitudes you want to get rid of, sins you want to break off of your life of your life…more importantly what joy, love, peace, patience, self-control do you want to have
Today you can have it whether you come for prayer or not you now know how to get it.
Please I know you may be sitting there saying this doesn’t really impact me…but I would ask that you think about your reactions to people and things, think about why you do certain things that are not uplifting or encouraging. Think about why you keep battling the same sins and attitudes…think about what are the things missing in my life that I haven’t been able to have the peace in your life, the joy you desire, being kinder to others, having a life filled with grace