Obstacles to Righteousness


Dr. Charles Stanley

Read | Galatians 5:16-17

Just because something is natural or “only human” does not mean it’s right or beneficial for us. In fact, we actually hinder the things of God in our life when we set our mind on things of the flesh—which can include sinful attitudes, ideas, and habits or even common worldly aspirations like money, sex, prominence, and power. The reason is that the natural man does not receive the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14).

Notice that there is nothing wrong with eating, but the Scriptures categorize gluttony as sinful (Prov. 23:20-21). Nor is there anything immoral about sexual intimacy when it is practiced within the God-given parameters of marriage. As long as our desires and appetites are subdued and brought under subjection to the Holy Spirit, our fellowship with God can continue harmoniously. But when yearnings are unrestrained, our closeness and communication with the Lord are obstructed.

In order to give the Holy Spirit control of our life, we must be persuaded that we cannot live righteously in our own strength. Most of us realize that it’s a struggle to live in a God-pleasing manner; to do so requires that we surrender our entire being to Him—mind, will, emotions, and conscience. Ask God to reveal areas of weakness, and then give Him each frailty as it comes to light. This needs to be done not just one time, but daily. Every morning when you wake up, it’s wise to pray, “Father, today I’m totally Yours. I can’t live the Christian life on my own, but I pray that You will live through me.”