The power of sin within me always keeps sabotaging my best intentions, letting me realize that I obviously need help! Despite my best intentions I realize that I don’t have what it takes. Paul writes, I decide to do good – but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something deep within me pops up and gets the best of me many times as sin manifests itself in my life.
Paul explained it like this in Romans 7 – The moment I decide to do good – sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly wants to rebel, and just when I least expect it, my flesh rears its ugly head.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He sets things right in my life and allows me to overcome, allowing me to serve God with all my heart and mind, and rescues me from the influence of sin to do something totally different.
In each and every one of us, there is a war waging inside. The spirit wars against the flesh. The flesh is evil and manifests itself as anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
The Spirit of God working manifesting joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith through us.
Paul breaks down the warring factions inside of us and provides a “graceful” solution to victory in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 5:19-25 – The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 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.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
In the 19th – 21st verses God is showing us here in His Word what will result in the feeding of sin in our lives. It is obvious what kind of life grows out of a sinful diet; loveless, cheap sex; a rotten accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; useless, joyless attempts at happiness; a fake hypocritical circus type of religion; extreme paranoid loneliness; cutthroat behavior; always desiring but-never-satisfying wants; an ill mean temper; an impotence to love; broken shattered homes and devastated lives; small-mindedness and useless pursuits; a damaging habit of demonizing everyone into an enemy; uncontrollable addictions; and a fear of everything and everyone around you.
God clearly states here in Galatians that if we feed the ugly gluttonous sin in our lives, these ugly things will govern our lives, and by feeding our selfish behaviors in carnal freedom we will not inherit God’s kingdom.
But in contrast in verses 22-25 God us what happens when we feed the good things of God into our lives. The result will be God bringing bountiful gifts into our lives, like ripe fruit in an orchard. His spirit will give us affection for our fellow-man, excitement and joy about living our life full of peace and serenity. We will adhere to righteousness and stick with the things of God. We will develop compassion in our hearts, and an outward appearance enhanced by God’s Spirit of a joy and holiness in Christ that permeates those around us. When we feed the goodness of God into our lives we will find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, as God opens doors in our lives. We will not have to force ourselves upon people or force ourselves in situations. In feeding ourselves upon the things of God, we will be able to govern and direct our energies wisely as we are led by His Spirit.
If we feed our spirit with the things of God, a righteous life will develop into the kind of life Christ gave to us upon the cross, which is the life of the Spirit. As the grace of the Lord Jesus moves in us, will begin to change in our inward and outward appearance, and we will not compare ourselves with each other, as if one of us were better and another worse than the other.
If we wish to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must feed ourselves with the things of God. We will develop a hatred of sin, we will desire holiness, and we will shine with the salvation of the gospel. There are many things of the world with which we can feed our carnal flesh, they are many and manifest. And living a life fed and developed by sin will keep us out of heaven.
The fruits of the Spirit plainly show that if we feed our spirit and not our flesh, good fruit will develop in our lives. We read here in Galatians the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. We are clearly told what to avoid and oppose, and He direct us by His Word what we are to cherish and cultivate as we are led by the Spirit. This should be our hearts desire, and this is the sincere endeavor of all of us who are born of the Spirit that sin no longer in control of our mortal bodies, but the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We must set ourselves in earnest to not feed the desires of our flesh, but to desire the good things of God, and to walk in newness of life. As we feed on the righteousness of Christ, we will not being desirous of our own selfish vain-glory; we will not seek or desire the esteem and applause of men; we will not provoke each other or be envious of one another; but we will seek to bring forth more abundantly good fruits in our lives, which are, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God.
John 7:37 Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts; let him come to Me and drink”.
The Lord promises to fill us in Isaiah 55….
Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free!
Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.
Here is from God is an invitation to everyone who thirsts. Only those who thirst will come to the waters. If we aren’t thirsty for what the Lord can give us, then we will never come to His table to eat and drink.
We read here in Isaiah that if we do thirst, and answer the Lord’s invitation, we don’t need to bring money. We cannot buy what the Lord offers. We must simply trust in faith and receive what the Lord has to give to us. It’s all free; all the goodness of our God is just as much a gift of grace as our salvation.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? God is asking us here to search our own hearts and ask ourselves “Why do we spend money on that which cannot satisfy?” This is a deep question that we must take to heart and realize the truth of His Word here, as there are many things we waste our time and money on. Things which will never satisfy us, as only the Lord can truly satisfy us.
The finest food for our souls is in the richness of His Word, so let us eat of the Lord and be filled with His righteousness. As we eat of that which is pure and holy, we will be filled with the things of God, and the grace of our Lord will be made manifest in our lives. As we feed upon Him, we will be both blessed and a blessing to others.
Romans 8:37 – In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
- The Choice Is Up to You! (work4christ.wordpress.com)
- 12.10.05 Exegesis – Galatians 5.2-26 (slideshare.net)
- In need of some fruit… (sunshinelittleone.wordpress.com)
- Who Is In Control Of Your Life? (donboydblog.com)
- Who Is In Control Of Your Life? (agodthing.wordpress.com)