Love - God's No Joke Requirement

Posted by Rev. Mark Slay

In Galatians the 5th chapter Paul starts to talk about walking in the Spirit vs. walking in the flesh. Aren't we all in the flesh? Well, yes, but you have to discern by the context whether he means walking in the physical body or if he is talking about the desires, the compelling forces of the flesh. To walk in the flesh means acting out, giving the body dominance. The desires of the flesh are contrary to the desire of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in your spirit and that's where God's going to communicate with you, that's where He will endeavor to correct and to enlighten you. That's where He will teach you the desires of His Spirit.

But I say, " Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger,.."     Galatians 5:16-21

Paul includes in the list outbursts of anger.  He is not talking about righteous anger, but a fleshly anger.  Like when someone does you wrong and your flesh flares up.   No matter what was done to you, you need to get over it.  Galatians goes on to list deeds of the flesh as "disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these."   Notice that after Paul lists these things he then says "and things like these." In other words this is not an exhaustive list.

"Do you not know you are the temple of God. If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is Holy and that is what you are..."    1 Corinthians 3:16 & 17

Keep in mind a fellow Christian is also the temple of God.  What you do to another believer, you have done to Him.  The flesh will never want to do what's right;  it has no conscience because the Holy Ghost does not dwell in your flesh, He dwells in your heart.  If you are going to love somebody or forgive somebody, it has to be from your heart.  And if your heart is stubborn and resentful, you will fail spiritually. You must cooperate with God's commands.   He's not going make you cooperate, but He has given the Holy Spirit to help you.

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone"   Mark 11:25

This verse says ANYTHING against ANYBODY.  That covers it all doesn't it?   Every person, every circumstance, every thing.   It doesn't do any good to walk around hateful and angry at people.   We are told in Ephesians 4:26 "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger."   In other words, get it taken care of; don't let it go on.  A spirit that lashes out at people will one day be under condemnation & judgment.   You better straighten it up so you don't fall under that condemnation.