Galatians 5:24 (NKJV)
‘And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.’
The scripture above used to baffle me because the tense used is in the past. The work against the flesh was done in the past. For those who belong to Christ, the flesh has been crucified, together with its passions and desires. The truth is that the power of the flesh is in its passions and desires. These are the baits, the attractions, the motivations, the attack tanks, the seductions- used by the flesh to regain entrance into the heart of man. The crucified life cannot live in the flesh until it gives audience to the whispers and suggestions from the ungodly desires and passions originating from the flesh. The old life has been crucified.
Living out the fruit of the Spirit cannot be done by effort and exertion. I’ve tried and I know it doesn’t work. Living out the fruit of the Spirit and demonstrating the nine faces of that fruit, can only work if we insist to crucify the self-life and keep the Spirit of God enthroned on our hearts on a moment-by-moment basis. Verse 13 says, ‘against such there is no law’ but I dare to add, ‘no law can help you live out the fruit of the Spirit’. The fruit OF the Spirit is the fruit FROM the Spirit. It is not the fruit of a man. The fruit is not mine. It belongs to the Holy Spirit. It is His. If I cooperate with Him and do not give place to the passions of the flesh but keep the flesh crucified, then there is hope for me to manifest this fruit because of the work of the Spirit within me. If I try to use human effort and human determination to manifest this fruit, I will only end up in depression and frustration from my multiple failures. Again I speak from experience. I am Christ’s. As I live the crucified life and keep in step with the Holy Spirit, He will manifest His fruit in me.
‘Thank you Lord for showing me again that I cannot manifest the fruit of the Spirit because it is not my fruit. Thank you for showing me how I may enter into the place where the fruit can manifest by the Holy Spirit who dwells within me. Help me play my role faithfully by rejecting the whispers of the flesh and by fully cooperating with your Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen’