I have been exploring what it truly means to walk by the Spirit. Coming from a Wesleyan-Arminian background, I believe in the entire sanctification of the heart. Perfect Love, an idea where our hearts are changed to be inclined to do God’s will and the inclination to sin is removed.
I am finding that God gives the strength and the means to overcome temptation, not only in scripture, but the Living Word manifesting itself through my life. Not practicing what I read, but more allowing Him to work in my life.
Ceasing of resistance of His will, and a ceasing of giving in to the flesh.
This is through the renewing of our minds. A willful empowerment of Christ Jesus in our entire lives.
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Ephesians 4:17-19 NASB
We are enlightened by the Truth and made new in our hearts, becoming sensitive to His breath, the Holy Spirit. We are called to not give in to carnal desires, but instead to look to Him.
But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Ephesians 4:20-24 NASB
Let’s break this passage down.
“But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him”
Being a disciple of Christ, meaning a learner; He has taught us of His mercies and love; He has spoken to us.
“in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit”
The flesh wants to satisfy itself, so we are urged to put away our impulsive desires. The evil one will use this desires against us, to get a foothold on our lives.
“and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
In our lives we can listen to our desires or the Voice of God. Let your mind be renewed in such a way that it is habit to listen for His guidance. This is our new self, the work of God, making us new creatures.
Practice choosing to listen to Spirit, picking up cross daily, meaning choosing to deny the flesh (sarx) and instead listening to the Spirit (hypakouo).
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:12-14 NASB
Do not give in to sin.
Do not listen to Lusts which come from the flesh, but instead listen to the Spirit.
This is obedience.
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Romans 3:31 NASB
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Romans 13:14 NASB