Make me more like You, Lord.
Read Galatians 5:16–26
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 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 are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
a Galatians 5:17 Or you do not do what
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectWhy does fighting sin feel like such a struggle?
Paul has talked so much about freedom. We’re free from the guilt of sin. But we’ve not been set free to sin. The Gospel of God’s free grace never makes us casual about sin. The more we grasp how loved we are, the more we want to be close to a God of love. The more we grasp the anguish our sin caused Jesus at the cross, the less we will want to sin. We’re now free so that we want to obey the truth (7) and fulfill the law by loving others (13,14; 26).
But in this life, that will mean a never-ending struggle between our sinful nature and the Spirit (17). And that hurts. But the fact that there’s a battle shows that there’s life! And we do not fight on our own. Paul mentions the Holy Spirit at least seven times. He leads us (18), taking the initiative. And we walk with him (25), taking active steps to partner with him today.
Gospel freedom changes us from the inside out so that we’re more eager to please God. So with the Spirit, we’ll not just want to fix outward behavior, but we’ll want to deal with the roots of heart-desires (19–21). We’ll want to put on Christlikeness (22,23).
Which part of the fruit of the Spirit are you lacking? Write it down and ask God to help you grow in that area. Think about it throughout your week and look for opportunities to grow.
Lord, let me live by Your Spirit and keep in step with Your Spirit (25).