So I say by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other., so that you nor not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 4: 22-26
I am in the midst of completing Priscilla Shirer’s study on Jonah. As with other Bible studies I have participated in God has opened the eyes of my heart even more. Not only are the eyes of my heart opened more but with each study I become even more aware of God’s daily presence in my life. I am also more aware of my walk with Christ and how I live out this walk on a daily basis.
I love the quote Priscilla shares on the last day of this study;
The fruit of God’s Spirit can only be
realized in the life of someone who is
consistently yielding to the Spirit’s work
in his/her life.
These words really made me stop and think. First, I thought of those who have impacted my Christian walk through their daily actions. These persons live their lives in such a way that if I were a non-believer, I would want to know more from them of where their joy for living comes. I would want to know what motivates them to do the things that they do beyond their calling. And, they do things beyond their calling with great joy in their heart and do it without expecting anything in return. When life happens to them as it does with us all, they tend to respond and not react. They stop and evaluate the situation and determine the best way to handle it. There have been times where no one else around them knew a situation was even taking place because of how they respond and how they are in step with God’s teachings.
In the study of Jonah Priscilla shares about divine interruptions. These interruptions are the unexpected things that come up in our lives. Sometimes, these interruptions catch us completely off guard. When these interruptions occur we have two choices. The first choice is we can react. When we react our actions may not represent the best of us. Sometimes, our reactions can come across in the form of anger, bitterness, and the total opposite of being in step with God and His commandments. The second choice is we can respond. When we respond we have given ourselves time to stop, reflect, talk with the Father and figure the best course of action to the interruption that has taken place. In our responding to the interruption, we are yielding to God and allowing Him to do His work in us. The outcome of responding is far different from our reacting. Through responding, we are able to see God’s hand in the situation, we are telling God we trust Him and His leading. We are also demonstrating to those around us the true meaning of trusting God and living in step with Him.
The other day I was talking with someone about how we have all become self-absorbed. We are to be aware of others’ needs around us and the presence of God. Yet, it seems we are becoming more self-absorbed in our own personal needs, our wants and what will make us feel better and/or look good to others. In other words, we are in a world of living totally opposite of Galatians 5:16-18. It is when we are consumed with pleasing the flesh that we miss the blessings that God has planned for us. Furthermore, we become out of step with God. It is in these moments where we know in our heads what is right and what is wrong but our hearts do not demonstrate what we know. Needless to say, it is at that point we profess to be a Christian but our actions are telling those around us something completely different. Thus, the reason why so many people see Christians as hypocrites. Sad but true.
Today, I challenge you to re-read the scriptures at the top of the page and re-read the quote from Priscilla Shirer. As you read these passages, stop and reflect on what motivates what you do each day of your life.
Are you motivated by wanting what the flesh wants?
Or, are you motivated by what God wants you to do and living in step with Him?
When interruptions come up in life, do you react or do you respond?
Who has impacted your life by their being in step with God?
Now, think about the people around you that you could have a positive influence and even bring them to know and receive Christ in their lives by living consistently in step with God.
In the days ahead, I encourage you to be aware of God’s daily presence and stay in step with Him. Being in step with God has greater reward than trying to stay in step with what the flesh wants. May you seek God in all you do and may others see God in you in all you do.
May this video by our prayer in the days ahead.