The Christian story of how life works is that God created the world, humanity fell into sin and disobedience against God, but God is redeeming the entire world back to himself through the person and work of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. That, in a very small nutshell, is the overarching narrative of the Bible. If we take a low view of any of those elements of the story, then life is not going to work right.
Humanity’s fall was hard, deep, and pervasive. Sin is such an ingrained habit amongst us people that it is our default response to much of our circumstances and events. This is why “the Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should.” In other words, the follower of Jesus must be trained to live a different way than giving in to selfishness.
We all have an idea in our heads of what the good life is, and we orient our desires and our habits toward that image. Our hearts and our love are aimed toward attaining that life. A continual life of sin betrays our image of what we believe the good life really is; and, the heart that is pointed in the direction of having a spiritual life of following Jesus will result in making us “loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.” The way to kill our selfish feelings and desires is to have the right picture in our minds and hearts of what the truly good life is.
Gracious God, you have sent your Spirit to train in the ways of genuine flourishing in this life. Help me to heed your teaching and avail myself of your power so that the name of Jesus is exalted and your church is edified. Amen.