These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit (Jude 19 KJV)
One word characterizes the Christian life and that word is “Spirit”. Christianity is a Spirit-life. It starts with the Spirit coming into our hearts and continues with the Spirit leading, controlling, and expressing Himself in and through us. Jude makes a critical statement in the verse above, describing false brethren who had infiltrated the Saints’ community. He said they are sensual and then explained that word by saying “having not the Spirit”.
Sensuality is used in contrast to the Spirit. Sensuality generally refers to the tendency to be controlled by the normal human senses, both of the body and of the heart. When the human senses rule our lives, that is, our senses determine how we feel, think, act or speak, we are sensual. This is also similar to saying we are carnal or fleshly.
However, when many of us hear about the senses, we are often focused on the body’s physical senses, that is, seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting or smelling. But the most critical aspect of the natural senses of the human being are not the senses of the body but the senses of the heart such as our desires or feelings. These are the senses that control us far more than the physical senses of the body.
Sensuality is a life ruled by typical human desires or passions. When we receive the Spirit at conversion, the Lord instructs us repeatedly to allow the Spirit to rule our lives rather than the natural human senses. Christianity is an expression of the Spirit. In contrast, sensuality is the way ordinary human beings live. Spirit is the way Christians life. For example, a christian man might see a beautiful woman and the normal human senses urge him to do something about how he feels. When we respond to these normal, natural senses and obey them, we are sensual or carnal as Christians. However, when we choose to obey the Word of God and allow it to guide us to choose holiness in body and mind rather than sexual defilement, we are walking in the Spirit.
Sensuality is the ruin of the world and fallen humanity. It makes us do things that turn around, bite us like a serpent to death in our spiritual lives, finances, relationships, peace etc. However, if we choose to follow the Spirit, we will discover joy, peace, protection, satisfaction and life.
What is sensuality? What distinguishes the believer from unbelievers? Can believers who have the Spirit still be controlled by sensuality?
APPLY THE WORD
After you receive the Spirit at salvation, you have to make a choice every single day to follow the Spirit rather than your normal natural and broken human senses. You will continue to choose to love people rather than hate, speak the truth rather than lie, keep your holy body rattan than defile it, etc. Walking in the Spirit is a daily choice, and it will be the best decision you will ever make on earth after accepting Jesus Christ.
Ask the Spirit to help your heart surrender to His leading and deliver you from sensuality.