Galatians 5:16-18 (JDV)
Galatians 5:16 But I am saying, walk by the Breath and you will certainly not carry out the cravings1 of the flesh.
Galatians 5:17 You see, the flesh craves2 what is against the Breath, and the Breath what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do the things you want to do.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Breath, you are not under a law.
animation, not stagnation
I don’t like the word Spirit for πνεῦμα because it leads people to think in terms of possession by a ghost. That is not at all what Paul is getting at. Paul uses πνεῦμα as a means of animation, not possession. It is in passages like this one that we see the contrast. The flesh and the Breath are both necessary for new life, but the flesh is used to being dead, so it wants to stay dead. So, in the case of the Galatians, they tended to fall back on superstition and legalism because that is what they know. The heretics come along and tell them they need to follow the Jewish traditions, and they believe it, because that is what the flesh craves. But the new life within them craves freedom. They did not come to life by following a human tradition, they cannot walk in newness of life that way. Human tradition leads to stagnation. God’s Breath gives animation.
Lord, thank you for the new life you have given us by your fresh Breath of resurrection power. Lead us by that new life, and keep us from falling back into the old death.