Don’tcha love it when the software fairies announce that your computer operating system has just been updated? Me? I seize up at first, thinking that they have just erased all my passwords and favorite tunes. But then I go exploring, trying to figure out if, as a result of this new software, I can actually do new stuff. When you trust Jesus, He gives you a new operating system – the Holy Spirit. Question is, can you actually do new stuff? Yes you can! But, but, but…
At first, you may not notice any big change, because the Holy Spirit has been added to an operating system that has grown accustomed to operating without Him. But soon enough, we start looking to see if we can do new stuff.
Think of your “self” in three parts: Body, Soul (your mind, emotion & will), and Spirit. The Body takes orders from the Soul. But where does the Soul get its information from? We are designed to have the Spirit (of God) inform the Soul, so it can operate the Body correctly. If we don’t have the Spirit, the Soul has to get all of its information from the Body (the eyes, ears and Facebook). That is backwards.
The Bible calls a Body and Soul with no Holy Spirit, “flesh.” Flesh is the nickname for our old operating system. When God gives His Spirit to that person, now he has “flesh” and “Spirit.” We have a new operating system, but we still have the habits we formed when all we had to work with was flesh. Just like with new computer software, when you have to train yourself not to do things the old way, there is a natural conflict between our old habits (flesh) and our new operating system (Spirit). It takes awhile to learn to operate (or “walk”) by the Spirit, instead of the flesh. But that is how we discover the new stuff we can do.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 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. (Galatians 5:16-17 ESV)
When you first read that, you might think it’s saying you have to stop having fun. Nope. It’s saying “Learn to use your new operating system, so you can do new stuff.”