“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. “-{Galatians 5:16}

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”-{Galatians 5:16 nlt}

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”-{Gal 5;20}


The “flesh” in Scripture can be used to speak of humanity, the body, it’s not just the body  but the mind. The sinful craving, lustful desires. “Ego!”  In Galatians the believers had turned away from dependence upon the LORD to self reliance. The “flesh” speaks of  self effort, self works trying to achieve spiritual ends without the Spirit of God!   It is living life without God!  Here, in Galatians 5:16, Paul gives a wonderful Promise, insight and a “How To…” win over these sinful cravings, so not to submit to them and grieve the Holy Spirit in doing so.-{Read Ephesians 4:30}.  A Christian is not immune from temptation and they come in all different types. Temptation’s goal is to appeal to something within us to accept, embrace, act on, that is not dishonoring to God. Temptation is not sin, it is when we yield and give in and embrace them that is sin. “…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. “-{James 1:14-15}.  Temptation’s goal is to seek to enslave you and dishonor God in doing so. Are we then just like rudderless ships in a darkened night in a violent storm-tossed sea, and without any aid? No, we have the ability to navigate through these storms of temptations in life because we have the Spirit of God, gifted to us and His Word to Empower, Encourage and Instruct us how to live to Exalt and glory, delight in Honoring God! At one time temptation was not hard because we chose to submit t it and sometimes gladly so. Now ‘In Christ ‘ temptation no longer has power over us because we have exchanged the realm of power, slaves to sin and satan, controlled and dominated, to being slaves of righteousness and the LORD Jesus which is freedom to know Him, live to Love Him and the freedom and power to love others, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” and this “…For Jesus sake,” -{Galatians 5:13; Read 2 Cor 4:5}


“WALKING “ in the physical realm is placing one foot before the other and moving, step by step, movement in a direction towards an end, from point “A” to Point “B.”

He uses the word picture of “Walking” in  the physical realm to help us understand  that in the spiritual realm it also speaks of movement. Daily living.  The Christian Life is a journey that begins when the Spirit of God convicts us of sin and shows our answer is the LORD Jesus and in repentance towards God, turning to Him and away from self rule, and submitting to Jesus as LORD- Owner of our lives and receiving from Him salvation from the power and penalty of sin, delivered from the authority of satan and transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God’s Beloved Son and delivered from the Wrath of God! SAVED From, delivered, rescued, made whole, how wonderful! But in being, delivered from, saved, rescued from one spiritual realm, we are also saved TO… a Relationship that is personal, permanent with God through our LORD Jesus Christ- {Read Romans 5:1-2}. But we need something to live out this “new life,” and that is not self effort, trying harder under our own steam, we need POWER. Power to Love, Power to Live, Power to Obey, Power to Change. And God has supplied us with POWER. The  POWER of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, is now living in you! “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. “-{Romans 8:11-13}. “…But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.“-{Romans 6:17-18}. 

How wonderful! We are no longer under “obligation to do what your sinful nature URGES you to do.” Because we “have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness!”  You are no longer a slave  to sin, you now have POWER to combat sin and this by the graciousness of  God who has given you His Spirit, the Powerful Spirit of God to reside in you to empower you to live the Christian life, for it takes Power to live and Power to produce the “fruit of the Spirit,” and it cannot be achieved by trying harder, but through submitting to the Spirit of God and Scriptures to bring about this -supernatural change-{Read Col 3:16}.

Does this mean we “let go and let God.” No! In submission to Him, like Paul we work but as he said, ” But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”-{1 Corinthians 15:10}. The Spirit of God working in us. Consider these verses, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”-{Phil 2;12-13}. Work out what God is working in and through you!, He gives you the desire, the ability to what end? “For His good pleasure!” God’s Power is Working In you for His Pleasure! 

Salvation is a Supernatural work of God and living the Christian life is a Supernatural work, empowering of the Holy SPIRIT TO BRING ABOUT SPIRITUAL RESULTS. This is why psychology,”vain philosophy,” and  Humanism through means or ideas, Legalism, Mysticism, Asceticism  cannot achieve spiritual ends.- {Read Col 2:8, 16, 18, 20-23 }.  They cannot save you, justify you, or change you from the inside out to produce the “fruit of “…Who? “The Spirit!” Only the SPIRIT of God can do this! They cannot produce Spiritual motivation “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  Only the Spirit of God can do this, and this He does!-{Read 1 Cor 10:20; John 16:14}. 

The Holy Spirit is God’s Gift to us to SUPPLY us with All we Need to  Supernaturally Live Out  The Christian Life in Godliness and Power! Everything we need is found in Him as revealed in His Word! -{Read 2 Peter 1:3-4}

Remember the church in Galatians? They experienced the supernatural work of salvation but then turned away from dependence upon the LORD and slipped back into trying to achieve Spiritual ends by humanistic means, self effort, self righteousness. Paul says  to them, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”- {Galatians 3:3}. It is impossible he is saying to them. And then he  makes a statement, and asks 6 QUESTIONS  ? You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?  Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?”-{Galatians 3:1-5}.

Humanism, relegates, replaces The Spirit of  God  as incapable, deficient, unable to meet Spiritual needs and instead elevates people as “wiser” and more capable and the answer to  the Spiritual needs of people! It is “Foolish!” And in Colossians 2 it says “Let no one take you captive…” through such error! 

In the following article by “Gotquestions.com” we read …

“A “walk” in the Bible is often a metaphor for practical daily living. The Christian life is a journey, and we are to walk it—we are to make consistent forward progress. The biblical norm for all believers is that they walk in the Spirit: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25, KJV; cf. Romans 8:14). In other words, the Spirit gave us life in the new birth (John 3:6), and we must continue to live, day by day, in the Spirit.

To walk in the Spirit means that we yield to His control, we follow His lead, and we allow Him to exert His influence over us. To walk in the Spirit is the opposite of resisting Him or grieving Him (Ephesians 4:30).

Galatians 5 examines the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. The context is freedom from the Law of Moses (Galatians 5:1). Those who walk in the Spirit “eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope” (verse 5) and are free from the Law (verse 18). Also, those who walk in the Spirit “will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (verse 16). The flesh—our fallen nature under the power of sin—is in direct conflict with the Spirit (verse 17). When the flesh is in charge, the results are obvious (verses 19–21). But when the Spirit is in control, He produces godly qualities within us, apart from the strictures of the Law (verses 22–23). Believers “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (verse 24), and now we walk in the Spirit (verse 25).

Those who walk in the Spirit are united with Him and the bearers of the fruit the Spirit produces. Thus, those who walk in the Spirit walk in love—they live in love for God and for their fellow man. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in joy—they exhibit gladness in what God has done, is doing, and will do. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in peace—they live worry-free and refuse anxiety (Philippians 4:6). Those who walk in the Spirit walk in patience—they are known for having a “long fuse” and do not lose their temper. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in kindness—they show tender concern for the needs of others. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in goodness—their actions reflect virtue and holiness. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in faithfulness—they are steadfast in their trust of God and His Word. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in gentleness—their lives are characterized by humility, grace, and thankfulness to God. Those who walk in the Spirit walk in self-control—they display moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to the flesh.

Those who walk in the Spirit rely on the Holy Spirit to guide them in thought, word, and deed (Romans 6:11–14). They show forth daily, moment-by-moment holiness, just as Jesus did when, “full of the Holy Spirit, [He] left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” to be tempted (Luke 4:1).

To walk in the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit, and some results of the Spirit’s filling are thankfulness, singing, and joy (Ephesians 5:18–20Colossians 3:16). Those who walk in the Spirit follow the Spirit’s lead. They “let the word of Christ dwell in [them] richly” (Colossians 3:16, ESV), and the Spirit uses the Word of God “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Their whole way of life is lived according to the rule of the gospel, as the Spirit moves them toward obedience. When we walk in the Spirit, we find that the sinful appetites of the flesh have no more dominion over us. ” -{gotquestions.com}

Hopefully this will encourage you. We all know the battle for the follower of Christ as Romans 7 shows the battle between doing the things we don’t want to do versus the things we want and should do. WHAT is the answer? To Know the Truth and this is revealed in His Word and to know… WHO is the answer, namely.., the Spirit of God!  Think of having a beautiful car that has no engine, it has no power it is going nowhere! So without the Spirit of God we have no SPIRITUAL POWER to live the Christian life, no matter how much we desire to. And God has gifted us the POWER in a PERSON to EMPOWER us. Before Christ, sin controlled us, now we are freed from the power of sin and we  have the power to choose not to sin, because the Holy Spirit lives in us and empowers us!  – {Read Phil 2:13; 2 Peter 1:3-4};

So How do we counter the sinful desires of the flesh? Galatians 5:16 gives the answer!

” The word “WALK” is a progressive present tense command, which means, “Keep on continually walking!” We are to keep walking under the control of the Holy Spirit, one thought, choice at a time as we live in this world.

It means to practically live your life with a submissive attitude to the Holy Spirit!

How do we do this?

  1. -SUBMISSION TO THE SPIRIT- SPIRIT CONTROLLED-  BE BEING FILLED- DOMINATED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD-{Ephesians 5:18} Submit to the Spirit of God ….and this is done in accordance with …

       2.- SUBMISSION TO THE SCRIPTURES- THE WORD OF GOD-  “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. “{Col 3:16}. Submit to His Word-  Let your mind dwell on the Word of God {Read Phil 4:8} Apply the truth to your living-{Read Phil 4:9}, Let the Word of God Transform you so you will know His good, perfect well pleasing will for you -[Read Rom 12:2}. Delight in His Word so  which comes forth from Desiring it {Read Psalm 1:1-2, And be a Doer of His Word-{James 1:22}.

Note the combination , The Spirit of God and the Word of God….”And we also thank God constantly  for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.“-{1 Thess 2:13}; ” But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”


That little 16th verse is monumental.  You can take all of Christian living and reduce it to this.  You can take all the commands of the New Testament and reduce them to this.  If you will just walk by the Spirit you will not carry out the lusts or desires of the flesh.  That’s it.  That’s victory.  The flesh wants to control you.  It wants to have you think bad.  It wants to have you feel bad.  It wants to create anger, hostility, bitterness, jealousy, envy, strife.  It wants to make you sure that you have reason to fear.  It wants to make you doubt God.  It wants to take love out of your heart and replace it with hatred.  It wants to make you do wrong things and fill your life with guilt.  It wants to destroy your marriage.  It wants to destroy your home.  It wants to destroy your relationships.  It wants to make you useless to God. The flesh lusts all the time desiring what is wrong, what is destructive. And the only hope of overcoming it is to walk in the Spirit. You see, you cannot offer a human solution for a spiritual problem.”-{John Mac Arthur}. 

NOTE THE  PROBLEM- “WAR!” – For the flesh {Lit. Lusts against} 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.”-{Galatians 5:16-17}. This is the Conflict  Christians face.” {Gal 5:17}

 What a PROMISE! – “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire {Lusts} of the flesh. “-{Galatians 5:16}. The Command is to continue to walk and as we do He promises “…you WILL NOT carry out the desires, {lusts} of the flesh!”

What POWER! -” The HOLY SPIRIT.” You have the power, the ability, choice by choice to continually choose the Spirit of God’s way and will as revealed in the Scriptures and  as we do we read we also the power. “SO THAT {the explanation} you will NOT carry out the desire {Sinful Lusts} of the flesh.”

What A PERSON– The Holy Spirit is our power in the Spiritual realm, to produce Spiritual fruit and results!

Walk In The SPIRIT… Walk in Submission to the Spirit of God, step by step,  thought by thought, choice by choice in submission and alignment with His steps, which we find in His Word.-{Read Col 3;16}

Walk by faith… thinking on His Word, Being Transformed by His Word, Applying His Word, in dependence upon the Spirit of God to empower us to Exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit which he alone can and does Produce!