No, You Can’t

Michael Beck

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17)

What the world, the flesh, and the devil tell us we have every right to do, God will tell us not to do. The natural man doesn’t receive the things of God. They are foolishness to him. The carnal mind is enmity with God and has no taste for the things of the Spirit. The god of this world will always give us a green light to fulfill the desires of our body and mind. He is the champion of unfettered freedom. He causes those who walk in his spirit to detest any restrictions or prohibitions. Never does he say, “Do what you should,” his dictum is always “Do what you will.”

The chief thing the carnal mind hates is the cross. To deny one’s self is anathema to those of the flesh. Running to pleasure and away from pain is the course of carnal people. They cannot hear the voice of the Spirit calling them to leave their lusts and stay in a place of suffering. Deep in their spirit they are opposed to the desires of the Spirit of God.

To stay true to God we must walk in His Spirit. God’s Spirit will no more pamper us than He did Jesus. Don’t expect those of the world to cheer you on the road to Golgotha. They will applaud you when you save your life, not when you lose it. They will tell you you can and should do the things you want to do. But when those things don’t align with God’s will, the Spirit will surely tell you otherwise.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.