Thursday, April 21, 2011

Follow the Spirit’s Leading in Every Part of Our Lives

Gal. 5:13-26 NLT     
   13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. 
   16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 
   19  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 
   22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 
   24  ¶ Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

The Apostle has wise words for the believers in first century Galatia and for the believers in 21st century Earth as well.   When we surrender self and accept relationship with the very Spirit of God, we introduce a powerful force into our lives that overcomes sin and self. We can benefit from the ability to say a resounding 'no' to sin's temptations. However, when we embrace the behaviors that characterize the old fallen human nature then we weaken that power God has placed within us. We stop drawing upon it and old sins become a trap for us again. The Apostle tells us we have a choice as to what we follow. Choosing to follow the desires of the sinful nature (vs 19) brings about predictable results. But we can choose otherwise. In Vs 16 we read ". . .let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves."  It is only the Holy Spirit of God who can overpower sin in us. But, it is only us who can release ourselves into The Spirit's hands for Him to do His powerful work in us. Check vs 22 and following to see what that can mean for you. See there the life you could live if only you permitted God to live it within you routinely.

Do you now completely belong to Christ? Does Vs 24 describe you? Have you nailed the passions and desires of the sinful nature to the Cross of Christ? You can know you are living by The Spirit when you follow His lead in every part of your life.
Your servant in Christ's love

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