So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
Contrast this verse with the one prior to it: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Chaos and infighting lead to destruction. Living our lives by letting God’s mysterious Holy Spirit lead us enables us to turn back that chaos and destruction.
Most of the world says that’s hogwash; magical gobbledygook and two-millenium old myths. You and I can say back to the naysayers, “but what harm would it do? Why not give it a go?” Be advised, you should only say that if you’re prepared for a backlash. Some of what’s spoken back to you may be things you really don’t want to hear. You should expect it. In fact, it’s ok. It’s understandable. But name to me just one person you’ve ever known who has let their lives be led by God’s Holy Spirit who has been angry, hateful, or even unpleasant. I can’t think of even one. If you’re honest with yourself, I seriously doubt you’ll be able to think of one either.
We could use more of God’s Spirit in our world today. Especially where there is protest, war, violence, hatred, and worse. That could be in so many nations in Africa, and in Ukraine, and China, and in every major city in America, where protests and gang violence are becoming normalized. Walking by God’s Spirit means letting the Lord remake our reactions, redo our outlooks. It means we submit all our thoughts, dreams, and actions to Him, and let Him do with them as He will. Chances are, Holy Spirit will soften the hard edges and toughen up the weak spots.
I think of one of my distant family members. He was my uncle’s brother, and he died a bitter man. He was dying in the hospital, and when a pastor offered to comfort and console him, the man threw him out with a barrage of profanity and a rejection of Christ. I hope the Lord was more merciful to my relation than my relation was to the Lord, or the Lord’s servant.
Tell me: what good does such behavior do? What goodness does it spread? How does it help others, or serve Jesus? How does it spread kindness, patience, or foster understanding? If we’re going to fight back fear, we need to fight the right way. That starts with prayer, and asking Jesus to send His Spirit into our lives to lead our lives.
In a world that spins to gratify our sinful flesh, perhaps before any of us sends that next social media post, we should ask Holy Spirit for His help, advice, and leadership.
For further reading: Romans 8:2-6 & 9 & 14, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 5:17
Father, send Your Holy Spirit to lead my life today!
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