Spirit Vs. Flesh: The Battle Within

Throughout 2016, I will periodicly feature devotions concerning the fruit of the Spirit. During February, we will focus on love. This one starts us off helping us understand the conflict between the Spirit and the flesh. Make sure you sign up for emails so you don’t miss anything



By Carolyn Dale Newell

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;

Gal. 5:16-17a NKJV

Has there been a crucifixion today? We are commanded to put our flesh to death daily (Col. 3:5). “Sarx” is the Greek word for “flesh”, and it can refer to our physical bodies. It also refers to our humanness, the part where unrighteousness dwells. It is the landing point for temptation, leading to sin.

Paul wrote about this battle in Romans 7:19:”For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;” Jesus said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).

We are commanded to walk by the Spirit. What does that look like in our daily life? How do we crucify our flesh?

The answer is not found in human effort or legalism. Flesh cannot battle flesh, but we can commit not to yield to the flesh. Instead, we will yield to the Spirit, following His lead.

Have you ever watched a sighted person guide a blind person? As long as I follow my sighted guide’s lead, we do fine. One day, while walking, I attempted to switch from my husband’s left arm to his right arm. I ran right into a door. I was not following his lead. I tried to lead, and it did not work out.

That is exactly what happens when we don’t follow the Spirit, but walk by the flesh. Nothing good comes from it.

It is a daily battle. There will be times when we allow flesh to win, but the Spirit will have the final victory. Flesh may win the battle, but Spirit wins the war. Commit today to walk by the Spirit and put the flesh to death.

Heavenly Father,

Help us walk by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Increase our spiritual fruit so we may walk in a manner worthy of You. Amen.


Read John 17:1-2, Rom. 6:12-13, Rom. 7:19-25, 1 Cor. 9:26-27, and Gal. 5:16-18.


Use a study Bible to look up the verses above. This will help you understand the inner conflict. Walking by the Spirit requires us to continually draw close to God through prayer and Scripture. How can you commit an additional 15 minutes with God this week?

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.



2 thoughts on “Spirit Vs. Flesh: The Battle Within

  1. lindas1119

    Wonderful devotion Carolyn. I so enjoyed it…a perfect devotion for this time in our nation where the flesh seems to be trying to win over the spirit. Praise the Lord for his guiding presence.

    Liked by 1 person


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