Thursday, March 14, 2013
Who is Guiding You?
Gal. 5:22 ¶ By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
Gal. 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Gal. 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal. 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Gal. 5:26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.
Paul had been writing to the Galatians about the freedoms they enjoyed in Christ. The Gentiles were not bound by the earlier law and the Jewish Christians had affirmed the freedoms which came from being in Christ. They were not required to follow the Jewish laws of circumcision and this was a huge issue for them. In contrast to this Paul wanted to make sure that these people understood that the freedoms that had come to them out of their relationship with Christ in the Spirit. This was not a license to live a life in the flesh, instead it was a free invitation to live a life in the Spirit. Their lives were to be guided by the Holy Spirit who would lead them into a life with God.
Their lives would reveal the fruit of the Spirit including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That is quite an amazing list! These followers of Christ were to live their lives on a daily basis guided by the Spirit. The result would be a life driven by the passions and desires of God, Himself and earthly or fleshly responses like competition and envy would simply evaporate. Instead, the life guided by the Spirit is one in which the desires of the heart become the desires of God and the individual reflects the very nature of God to the world.
This morning I am thinking about my own life and this fruit of the Spirit. How much of this is revealed in my life? The life of an individual who is steeped in the presence of the Spirit is one in which the very nature of Jesus Christ will be revealed in their daily actions and reactions. I have to confess that there are times when my reactions are less than Spirit-filled. There are days when the flesh takes over and that tends to be in the tiredness of life. It is in those days that short-cuts are taken and that I make excuses for not having my time alone with the Lord. Unfortunately there is a consequence. Instead of allowing the day to be led and directed by the Spirit, I take over control. That's not a good thing, because who knows where I may end up by the end of the day. I want every day of my life to be directed and led by the Spirit. I want him to be my guide and my desire is that my life will reflect the fruit of His Spirit in all that I do.
There are so many good things wanting our attention today that if we are to really know Christ we must make a conscious effort to be with him and allow him to work in and through us. It won't just happen by accident. Paul knew this. He knew that the followers of Christ would have to show self-discipline and self-control to get to know Christ. This would be through a life that was given in complete submission to the work of the Holy Spirit. Who is guiding you today?
Lord, the cry of my heart today is that your Holy Spirit would be revealed in my life. Amen.