Updated: Jul 6, 2021
What are we Aiming for? In Romans 1:21-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-9; and Titus 3:3 Paul lists numerous sins. He seems to classify both sexual sins and sins of anger. It is no surprise that where we find one classification of these sins, we typically find the other classification (sexual sins and anger sins tend to go hand-in-hand). The desire, "I WANT" is the adhesive joining these sins.
The flesh is bent towards sexual immorality. What God says is good, we resist. What God says is wicked, we desire. We want to sexually possess people who do not belong to us.
The flesh is bent towards anger. Anger is not less than sexual sin, but rather we need to be aware of its danger and destructive impact. It is rooted in our selfish desires. It is expressed in various ways: envy, strife, jealousy, fits, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, wrath, malice, and slander.
The Spirit aims for self-control (I prefer the term "Spirit-control"). This self-control is contrasted with self-indulgence. It is the gift of the Spirit to say "no" to the desires of the flesh and to say "yes" to the life of Christ in us as believers. We are not victims of our sinful desires. We choose or we aim for what we want. We pursue the desires of the flesh or we pursue the desires of the Spirit.
The reality is that sin and its consequences are often treated as mistakes or we describe it as having fallen as though it was an accident or unintended. If we are going to see victory over sin (anger) we must be honest. Sin and its consequences are not accidental, but rather they come from a series of choices that are rooted in our desires and what we are aiming for. In the same way, a Spirit-filled life is not accidental. It is a result of a series of choices that are rooted in our desires and what we are aiming for. Paul states in Galatians 5, "If we sow to the flesh, we will reap of the flesh. If we sow to the Spirit, we will reap of the Spirit." The harvest we reap is directly linked to the seeds that we sow. We get what we aim for. We do not aim for the Spirit and end up with the flesh, nor do we aim for the flesh and end up with the Spirit ruling our lives.
God's gift of salvation is not restrictive, but rather it is liberating. We are freed from the bondage, destructiveness, and penalty of sin. We are delivered into the life that we were created to live: self-controlled, upright, and godly lives (Titus 2:11-12).
What are we pursuing? What are we aiming for?