GALATIANS 5:24-25: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Am I living on the pathway to freedom or struggling on the road of disappointment and discouragement? Throughout life, we are faced with a moment-by-moment choice. Will we live a life trapped by the passions and desires of our sinful nature or will we live in the power and freedom of the Holy Spirit?
The book of Galatians is a strong reminder of the fine line between the spirit-filled life and the self-filled life. One leads to freedom while the other leads to old patterns of bondage, brokenness, and failure. One is a work of the Holy Spirit the other a work of our old sinful nature. And, there is a constant battle raging trying to keep us from moving forward.
- “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.” Galatians 5:17 NLT
The worse place we can find ourselves in is the valley of indecision. This is the place where we allow our old nature to entertain our old actions while we are also thinking about what the Spirit is saying to us. It is as if we are being pulled by both arms in two different directions. We find our lives in limbo. However, if we continue to stay there we will always fall back to our old ways.
You can’t stay in limbo forever!
Paul lists the fruit of our old sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit. There is a stark contrast to the two lists. One leads to death and the other to life. One is a product of our brokenness and the other of the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. One is the result of human effort and the other is the gift of divine intervention and grace.
We must make a choice!
What do we want the garden of our life to look like?
When I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ my life radically changed. However, there were (and still are) some areas of my life that I struggled with. Each time I tried harder I found myself failing all over again. I was saved by grace through faith but I was trying to live the Christian life by my own strength. If only I … (fill in the blank) … then I will have victory. Yet, victory eluded me. I was caught in the land of indecision!
Paul reminded the Galatians,
- “Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” Galatians 3:2-3 NLT
The book of Galatians is a call to freedom. It is a call to a new way of living. It is a call to be empowered and led by the Spirit of God. It is a call to allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate the very nature of our Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts and lives. It is a call to follow the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives!
- “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
This is the statement that stands out to me this morning. I need to pause and take a serious inventory of my life. Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to lead every part of my life? Have I relegated the Holy Spirit to the spiritual areas of my life, while I continue to direct all other areas? Do I have two gardens growing in my heart at the same time?
I am facing many challenges and decisions as I write these thoughts. Some are practical and some are spiritual. Yet, I am reminded that God cares about them all. He sees what I do not see. His wisdom is higher than mine. I need the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me in every single decision I am facing. The difference can be a fruitful field or a field of weeds.
Lord, I want my life to be a fruitful field. I want my life to bring glory and honor to Your name and to be a light to point others to Jesus Christ. Help me to surrender my struggle and to walk in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit – IN EVERY PART OF MY LIFE!
- “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
In Jesus Name!