Yesterday, we looked at the motivation of the flesh from Romans 8:5. Today, we continue with the same verse, looking at the impulses of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:5 says: “Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities” (TPT). Another way of saying “impulses of the Holy Spirit” — to be controlled or guided by the Holy Spirit, or to live according to the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to live by the impulses. In simple terms, when you feel led by the Spirit, you follow the leading.
The Bible describes to us things we cannot see — an entire spiritual battle going on right around us. We cannot fathom all of the battles taking place right now for you and I, but we can trust that battles are happening (Ephesians 6:12). Along with the battle, there are spiritual realities; these are the things of the Spirit. Simply put, this is God’s will and purpose for your life. This is something you cannot fully see or comprehend. It’s not even wrapped up in a nice little package that makes sense here on earth. God gives us little pieces because we cannot handle it all at once.
Living by the impulses of the Holy Spirit means that we are setting our mind — we are focusing — on God’s will and purpose for our life. This is a continually focus. Whereby yesterday we looked at how we could follow the flesh and make quick decisions to seek out pleasure, power, etc., this second half of the verse we are looking at today is all about following what the Spirit has motivated us towards.
It is very easy to continue living life by the flesh, pursuing what benefits ourselves. Yes, there are sin consequences. Yes, it’s not how we are meant to live. But as we look around, we see millions of people doing this daily. Even Christians do this daily. Sadly, as we live by the flesh, we find it slowly eats away at us. In fact, you die (Romans 8:6,13). In 1 Peter 2:11, we read about how the passions of the flesh actually wage a war against your very soul. This should not be taken lightly. A mind that is of the flesh is against God — hostile to God (Romans 8:7).
Today, take time to seek the Holy Spirit’s direction in your life. Quiet the noise around you. Spend time in prayer and in God’s Word. You will not find yourself walking around with fully widened eyes, open to all truth. However, if you seek Him — if you seek Him with all of your heart — you will find Him and He will share with you hidden things (Jeremiah 29:13, 33:3). He will slowly make you new. Each individual choice, each moment of your day, can be guided by the flesh or guided by the Spirit. It’s always your choice. The question to ask yourself today is am I living by flesh or am I pursuing spiritual realities. You can make a change of course today by changing your mindset. Make today the day for change and watch what happens next!