According to Dictionary.com the word obligation has several meanings. It can mean something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things. It can mean a binding promise, contract, or sense of duty. Or it can simply mean law. Romans 8:12 tells us that we do not have any obligation to do what our sinful nature urges us to do. If we live by the Spirit, then we are not bound by the law. However, some people live as though their sinful nature is law. They live as though they are under its obligation and will suffer consequences if they do not do what their nature tells them. But Romans 8 goes on to say that if you live by the flesh’s dictates, you will die, and through the power of the Spirit, the deeds of the sinful nature were put to death. So we can truly live. Basically living by the flesh equals death and living by the Spirit equals life.
It is not surprising that someone that is lost will live by their flesh and its rules and laws. But when a Christian lives as though they are bound by their flesh, it is almost as if they have forgotten the freedom that they found in Christ. So to find Christ is to find freedom from sin and the obligation it desires. To stay with Christ means to continuously live in light of His freedom and the gift of salvation.
Is this something you struggle with? Fill your mind with the things of God and the Holy Spirit and ask God to continuously give you strength and power over your flesh so that you may serve God. We cannot serve the pleasures of the flesh and God. We have to live by God’s Word. When we delight in His Word, we will want to serve Him and live in His freedom.