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On the spirit (in its warfare with the flesh)


More from Dallas Willard on the warfare between the flesh and the spirit.  Today, some comments from him on the spirit.  From Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Spring 2008, Vol 1, No 1

The will, the human spirit, cannot prevail going one-on-one with desire. (see Rom 7:19; Gal 5:17)

The human will, or “spirit” . . . is our God-given ability by which we have an interest . . . in what is better or best. 82 Our spirit

¨ Chooses what is best

¨ Seeks light

¨ Treasures the law

The conflict between “the flesh” and the (human) spirit is the conflict between desire—what I want—and the will for what is best. And hence it is also the conflict between desire and love, which is always directed towards what is good for its objects. Love is will-to-good. Desire and love are two utterly different kinds of things. 82

Law also is directed toward what is good. That is why it conflicts with desire. . . . And beyond the explicit law is the general drive toward what is better and best. 82

So the human will or spirit, the power of choice, always seeks a wider perspective than “what I want.” But in the lives of people who are “without God in the world” (Eph 2:12), desires actually enslave the will or even pose as the will. 83

So, here is the good news, “We really do have a will that is distinct from our desires!”

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