You can’t land a stealth bomber. A computer has to do it. Or, so I’ve been told. If you have done it successfully, please don’t respond; this is just an illustration of another impossible task: pleasing God by following His law.
7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7-8)
Paul’s phrase, “governed by the flesh” simply means a human being trying to land himself manually, without the control of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to perfectly follow God’s law under your own control. If you are thinking, “Oh yeah? I can do it,” can you always live up to just your own standards of right and wrong? No? Me either. And God’s are tougher.
That’s why religions don’t work. Religions, as I’m using the term here, systems of do’s and don’t’s to make you good enough for God. God’s own Word says those who try to live like that will fail:
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
Do this, do that,
a rule for this, a rule for that;
a little here, a little there—
so that as they go they will fall backward;
they will be injured and snared and captured. (Isaiah 28:13)
If you don’t want to crash land, you need God’s Spirit. Happily, Jesus gives this promise to those who will trust Him:
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
With the Spirit, even a guy like me can stick the landing.