Galatians 5:16-26 (ESV)
Keep in Step with the Spirit
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 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. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[b] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Whenever I read the first section of today’s reading, I have a
brief moment of anxiety as I am reminded of all the sinful things
I am guilty of each day. Even though I’ve been taught
unremittingly of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness, I still
stress over the questions: “Am I really living my life the way I
am called to? Do my actions always bring glory to God? Am I
actually living out this faith I so boldly proclaim?” I so quickly
get caught up in my own weaknesses that I often forget to read
on past verse 21.
When we rely on our own power, it's easy to feel weak and out
of control. Human desires often lead to impurities, but verse 24
brings hope to the situation. “And those who belong to Christ
Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Jesus lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we
deserve to die so that these worldly desires and sinful natures
may also be crucified with him.
As humans, we are prone to impurities and imperfections. As
Christians however, we are freed from the chains that link us to
our sins through Christ. Living a life guided by the Spirit rids us
from the works of the flesh while replacing them with love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness,
and self-control. Living life in such a way is a daunting and
impossible task when we try to take it on alone. Only when we
allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit is it possible to live in
a way that yields fruit and brings glory to our Lord.
Dear Jesus, thank you for your amazing love and grace and for
the peace that comes only through knowing you. Help me rid
myself from earthly desires so that I may live a life fully focused
on you. Let your Spirit guide my life, because I know I can’t do
this without you. In your mighty name I pray, Amen.
Written by Taylor Justison
Summer Youth Intern