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  • Henry Omotayo

Law of Mutual Exclusivity

Galatians 5:17-25

Message No. 0558 | Twitter @GodandUs |

Last summer I left my lawn unattended for a considerable length of time. Though I cut the grass occasionally, I did not try to remove the weeds from the lawn. Then I suddenly noticed that the number and sizes of weeds was growing at an alarming rate, and suppressing or killing the grass in the process. Weeds like the Crabgrass, Dandelions, Quackgrass, Moss, name it, all of the weeds that we hate to see on our lawns started to multiply at unbelievable rates, especially on the lawn at the backyard. At first, I thought perhaps I would just leave it and lay a new lawn the following year, but it got so irritating that I could no longer stand the sight, so decided I would pull out the weeds, no matter how long it took me. I researched the appropriate tool, bought it and started the project. I spent days doing this until finally, I obtained satisfaction when I noticed that I had delivered the grass from the weeds.

Certain things are not allowed to grow together; if one grows, the other must die; if weed grows, the grass must die. In Galatians 5:16-17, the Bible says:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want

The Spirit and the flesh are not allowed to grow in the same direction; they have mutually exclusive progressions, and no Christian can win the race by trying to feed both of them together. Why? Because the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit are in opposite directions. Paul knew these things very clearly when he wrote to the Colossians, in chapter 3, verse 5 (I quote from the Amplified version of the Bible):

So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body [with its sensual, self-centered instincts] immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire, and greed, which is [a kind of] idolatry [because it replaces your devotion to God].

The weed is so much powerful than the grass that it always kills the grass and takes over the lawn. In the same vein, sin is so aggressive that it often suppresses and kills your spiritual growth. We cannot be devoted to God while allowing the flesh to have its way. Left unchecked, the flesh wants you to do carnal things, including feeding its lusts and longings. The Spirit, on the other hand, wants you to do spiritual things, including bringing forth spiritual fruits and exhibiting the gifts of the Spirit.

If we live by the flesh, we will die, spiritually, and possibly physically too, depending on how freely we allow the flesh to lead us. In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul told the Galatians:

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Physical death may mean little, but spiritual death is a great disaster and no sane person wants to partake in it. The way to avoid this is to live by the spirit. According to Galatians 5:22-23, the fruits of the spirit are:

…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

If the flesh is left unchecked, a child of God could easily find himself or herself in the most undesirable positions. An unchecked flesh is the most potent recipe for backsliding. It always does begin gradually and works its way to a point where it becomes most difficult to return. This was the weapon the devil used against Samson. In James 1:5, the Bible says:

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

So, how do we feed the Spirit and deprive the flesh, does it mean denying the flesh of physical food? Well, yes and no; while occasional fasting may be part of the equation, the greatest food of the Spirit, which we often neglect because of our ultra-busy schedules, is the Word of God. How do you tell the devil ‘No’ if you don’t know what Word to quote against him? Jesus overcame the devil’s temptation by quoting the Word. If a child of God must overcome the devil, he or she must read and study the Word of God in order to know the commandments of God, the ways of God and the mind of God. Walking in obedience to the Word of God is the greatest way to destroy the lusts of the flesh.

If you see something wrong in your relationship with God, please address it immediately. I did not attend to my lawn immediately and it literally began turning into a weed yard. If I did not take the step I took to deliver the lawn, it would become so horrible that I would hate to allow my visitors to see it. In the same way, if we fail to take immediate steps to remedy our relationships with God, our lives could easily turn to a shameful episode that would embarrass us and our loved ones. We cannot permit our flesh to do what it wants. If we do, the Spirit will disappear as the law of mutual exclusivity always wins. Do you need to take action to remedy your situation? Please do it now, without conceding an inch to delays. The Lord will help you to remedy every undesired situation, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Have a blessed week!

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!


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