I look around daily and sometimes it breaks my heart to see people everywhere tearing one another down. The world has taught us that to get anywhere in life someone else must suffer. In workplaces we see people clambering over one another to get that promotion and pay rise, moms competing with one another over the growth and talent of their children, but what breaks me the most is when I see followers of Christ in a sibling rivalry that makes them despise one another instead of lifting each other up.
This is not what God intends for us!
Over the past few weeks in our Bible study group we’ve been looking at the 9 fruits of the spirit. The Holy Spirit spoke quite sternly to me about these gifts, they are all choices, choices that we have to consciously make every moment of everyday, examining every thought and action.
Here is chapter 5 of Galatians we see a list of sinful cravings we all battle with daily;
“The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior. Haven’t I already warned you that those who use their “freedom” for these things will not inherit the kingdom realm of God!”
I don’t know about you but when I read this list of self-life cravings I feel a little convicted!
I’ve chased after things that aren’t of God, I’ve been manipulating, I’ve resented others, I’ve chosen to make something of myself, to put myself on a pedestal, I’ve certainly been a lover of my own opinion and even worse I’ve torn down people in order to make myself feel better.
This is what I love about the Word of God!
Jesus challenges me to examine myself, my heart and my motive. There are so many things I choose to walk away from because I believe that they will produce in me one of the characteristics in the passage above and not produce the fruit that God desires for me to glorify Him as His creation.
We must always be examining our thoughts, pulling out those weeds that will produce a self-life craving. By doing so regularly we are renewing our minds and replacing those lies with Gods truth.
Making a choice to replace the self-life craving with fruit, blessing others, and receiving the promises God gave us for us to lead a full and satisfying life that gives glory to Him. Why wouldn’t we want to glorify Him? Look at the promises He’s given us;
“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart,
and strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
We literally have a freedom of choice that will free us from our selves, help us to live in His peace, His joy, His love, producing His character and blessing people along the way!
My prayer today is that more and more people find this freedom through our choices and find a truly satisfying relationship with the One who created them. In Jesus name.
Love and blessings,