Galatians 5:16-25 - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no Law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
It can be so hard to live the way we think a Christian should! Here we are, believers in Jesus, and yet we still feel the old sin nature fighting us inside our hearts. We are tempted and we fall into sin daily. And how frustrating it is!
With this war going on inside us, the temptation is to try harder—to turn to the power of the Law to keep our evil impulses in check. Surely that will work! But it never does. We think we have one temptation under control, and something totally different pops up. The Law cannot deal with our sin. It just stirs it up even more.
But Paul tells us to do something different. He says, "But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." Paul is talking about something that you might recognize if you drive a car. When you are driving, it's important to keep your eyes on the road—not on the car that is coming toward you. The car will go wherever your eyes go.
In the same way, the smartest thing for us to do as Christians is to look to the Holy Spirit to help us, and let Him show us what comes next. Jesus has our sin problems completely under His control; He doesn't need us to obsess over them anymore. After all, He already suffered, died, and rose again to make us free, healthy, blessed children of God. We can trust Him to deal with the death throes of our sin nature.
Now that we are free, we can look to see where He wants us to go next. Is there something we could do right now to be a blessing to our neighbors, our family, or even those who hate us? Think about it—if you really, truly believe that all your sins are forgiven and that you don't have to fuss over them anymore—what wonderful things could you do with the time and effort and happiness God has suddenly freed up for you?
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, Help me when I get tangled up in worrying about my sin again. Thank You for setting me free. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Would you say that you tend to think too much about your sin or too little?
2. What effect does this have on your life?
3. How would you describe the freedom Jesus offers you?
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