Read Galatians 5:16-17
16 So I say,let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil,which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other,so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (NLT)
Imagine trying to hurry to catch a train or bus. The pathway is muddy and the clay on it sticks to your shoes. The faster you try to walk the harder it is. The clay just clings to you and slows your pace,sucking you in to its sticky depths.
A bit like the way our independent streak (or sin) clings to us as we try to follow Jesus. We may genuinely try our best but,as Paul reminds us here,we are not able to follow Jesus by trying our best. The clay sticks,the sin clings. We are a battlefield of passions and desires and we don’t win every battle.
Yet God doesn’t give up on us and nor are we to give up on him. Paul reminds us the key to moving on is utter dependence on the Spirit and glad surrender to him. Trying very hard to be faithful and fruitful won’t work: the enemy is too strong. Asking for God’s help is the only way to go for only he is strong enough to challenge the one who encourages our independent streak.
We are ultimately powerless to overcome our God-defying independent nature. Our powerlessness is meant to drive us to dependence on God’s power.