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We've seen earlier this week that the spiritual battle for our minds, hearts, and souls is not against flesh and blood. It's against rebellious angels who are fighting God and trying to hurt us. They hurt us by getting us to believe lies. When we believe lies, we live as though they are true. They also try to get us to turn against each other. We hurt one another because we are not willing to forgive.
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. (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV)
The battle, is difficult because we are fighting spiritual beings who are stronger than us and who have more abilities than we do. When we come home to God, though, we enter a safe place where these enemies are not stronger than us anymore. Well, they are not stronger than the Holy Spirit of God, who dwells in us.
Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. (Romans 8:8-9 NIV)
God's Spirit gives us the wisdom and discernment we need to recognize the lies of the real enemies. God's Spirit gives us the strength we need to send these enemies away. God's Spirit gives us everything we need to walk together with God even in a world that is held in captivity through the decpetion of these enemies.
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:10-11 NIV)
God's Spirit gives us life while these enemies want us to experience pain, suffering, and death. God gives us everything we need to successfully fight these enemies and love God. We can fight these enemies and love people. Even in this life and this world, we can experience a Garden Walk.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation--but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:12-13 NIV)
[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 NIV)
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (Romans 8:14 NIV)
How about you? Are you a child of God?