Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Galatians 5:16

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”


1. Who is writing this? The apostle Paul, who was known as a sinner, who was saved by grace. Not only was he a sinner, but described himself as a “great” sinner.

2. Who is the Spirit? The Spirit is the essence of God Himself indwelling in the believer’s body. The Spirit was in existence before Jesus Christ, but only dwelled upon those who had faith in Yahweh, not in. Because of Jesus Christ who contained the very same Spirit of God, we are now able to have this Spirit indwelling continually within us. This is a different spirit than the spirit in the world. It is greater than the spirit in the world and because we are a spirit it can move us. Because we are spiritual, we can allow which spirit to control us and it is the immaterial (spirit) that controls the material (body).

3. Who is “you”? The believers in Galatia. They somehow forgot who they were in Christ. When you forget who you are, you will always begin “doing” things for the wrong reason. This is displayed in spiritual matters as well as physical.

4. Who is the “flesh”? It is the physical life that will always try to dominate the Spiritual life until the spiritual part of us leaves. The flesh is that which is material and left to itself will destroy itself discreetly or indiscreetly. The flesh is very beautiful, very comfortable and very tangible. It begins with the senses and ends in sensuality.


1. What happens if I walk by the Spirit? The desire of the flesh will not live.

2. What is “the desire of the flesh”? Notice, it is not “desires”, but “desire”. I think it is singular because there is one main desire of the flesh and that is to live. Once it lives, then it will manifest itself many different ways. It doesn’t care how it destroys your body, only that it destroys your body.

3. What happens if I walk by the flesh? The desire of the flesh will live. Not only will it live, but other desires of the flesh will become my desires. Then, if I allow the desires to continue in my life, they will change from desires to needs. An addiction will form or a stronghold will form in my life in which I must, I need to feed unless Something greater intercedes.


1. When do I walk by the Spirit? If the Spirit is indwelling at all times in my life, then it would make sense that I would always be walking by the Spirit. This is true and false at the same time. The Spirit is continually indwelling in us even-though we choose to sin. It is at the point of sin that we choose to ignore this truth and become something we were not created to be. However, through repentance the Spirit is once again allowed to control the body so it could be said we are always walking by the Spirit, but we do not allow it to be expressed. It is much like oxygen. I can use it continually without noticing it, but when I go to places where it is not in existence (underwater), I realize the importance of it. I realize my need for it and it awakens me to my dependence on it. When I forget is when it is detrimental to my existence.


1. Where is this person going when they are walking? They are coming from someone and going somewhere. We all have a past that determines our present state which affects our future decisions. We all are coming from somewhere and going somewhere and our present state determines that. It is our decisions NOW, not in the future that greatly affect us, yet we continue to live in the past or future. We seldom want to “be” where we are at and are seldom satisfied with the “now”.


1. Why is it “walking” and not “running” or “sitting”? The focus of the passage is not the speed, but the direction. One is moving when one is walking and walking always implies intention that is cautious, but confident. The believer’s journey is not based on speed, but on the direction it is heading. “Walk” is present tense that has a future implication (to defeat the desire of the flesh).


At 7:41 AM, Blogger Trey said...

Another key point comes from the phrase "carry out." In walking by the Spirit, the change that takes place relates to our interactive role with the flesh. The desire of the flesh, as a temptation, may or may not change. That's important to note, because lots of folks assume that, when we're "living right," temptation fades into the background; we try to create a direct, inverse relationship between the amount of walking we do by the Spirit and the amount of exposure we have to fleshy temptation. Of course, that's not necessarily the case.

Nonetheless, it's so easy to fall into that trap. For me, who often has an internal fatalistic streak (which is odd, because I generally have an optimistic view of other people), I sometimes fail to use the power provided to me by the Holy Spirit to flee from temptation, because I rationalize that dwelling in the unsustaining, harmful flesh is what I deserve for my sinful nature. (The sensory delight is just a pleasing byproduct...how convenient.) All the logical and spiritual flaws are painfuly visible, but it's amazing what our carnal minds will fall for, just to have the opportunity to sin.


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