Intro: Power struggles are certainly common these days. We can witness them in every area of life. When people have strong opposing opinions, finding a compromise is very difficult. As human beings, we tend to dig in our heels in order to hold onto our positions for control. This causes us to become more polarized and unyielding.
These power struggles are not limited to the natural world or human relationships. If we are determined to hold onto our opinions and demand autonomy, we may find ourselves in the midst of a spiritual power struggle. The Holy Spirit is the power to live in the Word of God; apply God’s principles to our lives as we discover his guidelines. If we find our opinions contradict the Word of God, we may find ourselves in the midst of a power struggle with the Holy Spirit. If we find ourselves there, who’s going to win control?
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul encourages the Romans to understand life in the Spirit. He wants them to be real about the power of their fleshly desires that may contradict the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power for every believer’s rebirth—the power to live for God. To let our sinful desires control us—things the Word of God tells us to avoid—opens the door for our minds to become hostile toward God. We simply cannot please two masters. When the Holy Spirit places righteousness on our hearts, may we be quick to obey.
Romans 8:1-8 Life in the Spirit
8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you [me] from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature [our flesh]. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the work of the Holy Spirit to guide me away from sin and into righteous living. Thank you for my rebirth; for delivering me into a life of peace and wholeness. I am so glad I belong to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.