Crucifying the Affections and Lusts
Daily Devotional for January 5th
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24
In our attempts to live for God, we tend to think everything is fine in our lives as long as gross sins aren’t abounding. If we aren’t giving in to drug addictions, drunkenness, engaging in fornication, adultery or telling lies, we tend to think all is well. Our victory in Christ is much greater and goes much further than this. We may see freedom from these things in the short term, but are they creeping back up into us at times?
We tend to concentrate only on the acts of sin, but what about the lusts and affections that war in our members? Is there any victory in this? Oftentimes we have the mindset that as long as no sin is being committed, then we must always live with lusts. This is a false assumption. There is victory over, not just the acts of sin, but the forces that drive us to sin to begin with. These symptoms are actually an indication that not everything has been nailed to the cross.
Sexual lusts such as pornography, homosexual desires, are all immoral lusts and desires from Satan that war within, but these are not all affections and lusts that Paul is referring to. Affections and lusts toward alcohol, lusts toward methamphetamines and opioids, of every stripe and all other desires for drugs are included in this verse. They cannot be overcome by rehabs, they cannot even be overcome by anything the world has, including prescription drugs that seek to slowly remove addictions from other drugs. These things must be crucified.
In this verse, the Holy Spirit did not say they that are Christ’s have crucified the sins; but the affections and lusts. How is it that the devil snares us into sinning to begin with? Through lusts that war in our members. Here Paul deals with the Galatian believers about how sin creeps into our lives to begin with. Sin comes from a hotbed and inflamed life of affections and lusts. The affections and lusts must be crucified. Specifically, what this means is each of us must come to Christ confessing not only our sin, but the affections and lusts that are warring within us, and by faith trusting in the victory Christ conquered for us at Calvary. There will then be a victory that will come to you where you will not have to wrestle with the lusts and affections over all these sins because they will have been crucified.