Galatians 5:16-26 💜 When the Spirit Takes Control

Read Galatians 5:16-26

Fruit of the Spirit displayed in a tree with various fruit all named, entitled "This Fruit is Always in Season"

I couldn’t help but picture a little devil and a little angel sitting on my shoulder, like the familiar meme. Especially when I read, “these two forces are constantly fighting each other.” It’s true. We are constantly fighting the battle of sin in our lives. Evil can often disguise itself as good, or we can try to explain away our sinfulness.

I hope you’re happy, too, to know that we have a helper in the Holy Spirit. We can be assured that when follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in our life, we will be less likely to stumble into the traps of the evil one.

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December 19 🌟 Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:2-7)

Read Isaiah 9:2-7

peace sign made out of pink and white flowers with a wacky design as background

Peace. What does that mean to you? I know that’s a big question. When is the last time you really felt peace? I mean, really felt it?

This is one of my favorite passages from Isaiah. There is so much to cling to here, one could get lost in these words for days. Perhaps, if you haven’t felt full of peace or peaceful recently, you can spend some extra time with these verses and just let the breadth of each word strengthen you, refresh you, and bring you peace.

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Galatians 6:11-18 – Belong to Jesus

Read Galatians 6:11-18

Paul closes his letter by coming full circle to bring to mind the reason he wrote in the first place. He wanted to set them straight that they didn’t need to be circumcised to be accepted by God. It wasn’t necessary. They were welcomed into God’s family simply by accepting Jesus. When we belong to Jesus, that’s our ticket to eternity, not whether we have followed the letter of law concerning bodily revisions. Many of those pointing their fingers have probably not followed every single law themselves.

Paul’s own words say, “Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save.” What jumped out at me in that counsel was “want to look good.” How many times have we encountered fellow Christians who are more concerned about looking good to others rather than serving God with a servant’s heart? Ministry can get messy. We can’t be so focused on appearances that we miss out on the message of truth.

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Galatians 6:1-10 – What’s Your Harvest Look Like?

Read Galatians 6:1-10

Our last reading closed with a couple of those great transition verses. I like 5:25 in particular, “If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” That leads beautifully into what Paul is saying in today’s reading. Right off the bat, Paul gives us an example we’re likely to encounter being in relationship with other believers.

We used this passage in our Celebrate Recovery ministry. It was one of our key verses. It is especially true when you help another with “their” issue, how likely it can be you’ll fall prey to that same issue. That doesn’t mean we don’t help each other. That means we help others equipped by knowing we need to stay strong ourselves. After all, we should all be looking for opportunities to “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”

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Galatians 5:16-26 – Plug in to the Holy Spirit’s Power

Read Galatians 5:16-26

This may be a passage you want to return to over and over again. It is always great counsel to remember where our power comes from. I love how Paul starts this section. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” He uses the powerful word “So,” which we know to be like “Therefore.” It tells us to remember everything that comes before it as if it were restated in its entirety before he gives us new counsel. What are we supposed to do now? Let the Holy Spirit guide us. That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

We are exchanging the reality of being chained to the law, and the expectations that come with that affliction, for the freedom of the Holy Spirit’s leading. Paul says, “But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” Cool. The Spirit is not going to lead us down a path that will be contrary to the law anyway. Since we are sinful creatures, the tendency to sin is inside us. When we let the Holy Spirit guide us, imagine the battle going on inside us between good and evil. The Holy Spirit is definitely stronger. When we rely on our own wisdom, that’s when we make foolish decisions.

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