The flesh and the Holy Spirit are contrary one to the other. Their aims and purposes are diametrically opposed to each other. Each one says no to the other. They checkmate each other.
This, of course, results in a stalemate for the Christian. This is why the apostle says, "Ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17).
A mistake made by many of us Christians is that we try to gain victory over the flesh by our own will and efforts. But this is the same as pitting the flesh against the flesh.
We are trying to overcome the flesh by using the flesh. We might as well assign the Devil the task of conquering the Devil.
Someone has given the following as a solution to this problem: "The Lord has voted for me; the Devil has voted against me. Whichever way I vote, so goes the election."
If we determine to walk in the Spirit, we are casting our vote in the right way. This is the choice we must make if we are to overcome the lust of the flesh.
The way of deliverance, then, is to walk in the Spirit (v. 16). We are to be led by the Spirit (v. 18). And we are to live in the Spirit (v. 25).
If we give the Holy Spirit a free hand, if we let our lives be the practical day-by-day expression of His life in us, we will be victors.
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).