My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Galatians 5:16-23, 23-26 MSG
Every day I live I fight a battle within my own spirit. It begs the questions…Do I seek only the things that I want?… Does absolutely everything need to go my way?…Are my own desires and ideas more golden than yours?… Do I wake up changed from my selfish thinking by renewing my mind to God’s perspective?
I. 👏Only. 👏Wish👏.
The real truth is I don’t do the things which I want to do. I throw fits and easily get angry when I am told “no” or “not now”. I am a born again child of God but my daily struggle with my flesh is very real. It has the strength of an million man army at times. There are days when I find myself walking into that fire of anger because my spouse isn’t doing exactly what I want him to do… when I want him to do it… and in the manner I know it should be done.
I seem to walk straight into the crevices of my bitterness because life has not worked out the way I thought it should.
If only it were my “natural” instinct to be patient with others and forgive quickly. To trust wholeheartedly and walk by faith. To live without an ounce of fear. To rest in the hammock of love God has there hanging just for me.
Instead, the natural instinct of my spirit is to make bad decisions and to like bad habits. To find fault and render self sabotage. It’s easier to drive in the well known ruts of lousy communication and ugly discord. This is what I instinctively do. This folks is the reality of the skin that covers my bones.
Change…real change of my behaviors, thoughts and decisions requires me in every circumstance to die to what it is I want and to live in the dominance of the Holy Spirit of God. To without hesitation know that the sins of my fleshly nature have been covered by a Crucified Christ.
Whenever I walk by The Spirit and not in my own skin I can breathe in fresh air of relief. I can believe that God will lead me into His ways A.K.A. the better pathway. Where I am satisfied to find His Joy and Peace ruling and reigning in my soul.
This is the good gift God has planned for us. A life of freedom. The key to unlock our daily battle is in the sword of our complete surrender.
The struggle for my flesh is completely unnatural and derives itself from a prideful, self protecting survivor who struggles with releasing the reins of complete control.
However, I read from God’s word that letting go is the only way possible to walk by The Fruit of The Spirit. And the only way possible to live life freely without bondage.
I want the chains of brokenness gone. I want to experience a life without condemnation. I want to feel loved and completely accepted.
So, why do I fight against the good gifts from above? Why do I struggle living under the protection of a completely satisfied crucifixion? The answer is because I am a living being who is fighting a very real spiritual battle every day. It’s time I put away the desires of my flesh. It’s time I stand and fight. It’s time I walk by faith and not by sight. It’s time I am a doer and not just a hearer of the word.
Today is the day…I want to begin walking by The Spirit living life freely of me, myself and I. Don’t you? It’s time!