Galatians 5:16-17. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Our union with Christ is made possible by the Spirit. The Spirit is the life giver. He has been since the beginning. All life, physical and spiritual, comes from the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit is synonymous with living by the indwelling life of Christ. The Spirit’s life is Christ’s life.
The Spirit of Christ in us, changes our desires. He gives us the desires of Christ. These are desires that are selfless, rather than the desires of the flesh, which are self promoting. When you received the life of Christ into your existing life, your soul became a war zone. Your new self (Gal. 2:20) with the new desires of the Spirit, now clashes with the left over indwelling fleshly remains of selfishness. Your flesh still defaults to law keeping, because law keeping, or “living up to expectations,” is the best way to prove our worth (or so we think). It tries to love through compulsion and moralism. But your new self desires the free unconditional “one-way” love of Christ. It longs for it like water in a desert.
This battle of desires rages in your soul- your spiritual throat. Sin attacks from the outside of you through the mindset of law keeping or self justification. The Spirit resists from the inside through the mindset of freedom, love, and grace. Notice above how verse 17 ends. When the flesh wins it keeps you from doing the thing you want to do. What we really want is Christ. To exalt him and be awed by him. But often we resist his grace and return to the bondage of slavery to the knowledge of good and evil.
We must understand that “To live is Christ” means that their is a battle raging inside of our hearts and minds. It is a war of desires. The desires of the flesh battle the desires of the Spirit. This battle is occurring literally in each and every choice you make, each thought you think, each emotion you feel.
Are you aware of this battle in your own heart? Trust me Christian, it’s there. If you don’t recognize this battle, your losing. If you do recognize it, then that is a sign of life.