Acts 19:21 :
Now after these things had ended, Paul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”
The Holy Spirit shows us God’s glorious freedom by how He worked with Paul, and Luke, by the Holy Spirit, carefully described it all for us in this book. One of the evils of the demonic world is that of oppression and control. When a person is controlled by an evil spirit, they are not free and cannot act on their own. We see from this verse that this is not at all how the Holy Spirit works.
Notice that “Paul determined” in the verse above. It didn’t say that the Spirit made Paul go to Jerusalem. In fact, we have seen something like this in Luke already. Remember when Paul had a dream about the Macedonian man who was asking him to visit? Paul realized that this was what God wanted him to do after this dream, but notice what the Holy Spirit did. He made it so Paul would determine to go to Macedonia by deciding to do it.
Now, Paul, acting out of selfishness, could still have chosen to avoid God’s will, but there was a very real part of Paul that wanted to do it. From these passages and others, we can see that God works with our will not against it.
What does this mean to us? It means that we are free! A person who does what they want to do all the time is free! Does that mean that we never want to do something wrong? Not at all, but, as a Christian we always want what is right because we have a new creation within us that desires to do everything that God wants. When we find out what He wants, we can’t help but want to do it. It is our old flesh that gets in the way, keeping us from accomplishing what we want.
How do we overcome these evil desires? It is clear from this passage that when we decide to do good, we should decide it “in the Spirit!” Don’t fight your flesh in your own power. If you walk in the Spirit (trusting in His power as you obey Him) you will be free.