Wednesday, May 8
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things — as I warned you before — that those who practice 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, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now 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.
In these verses we’re challenged to consider what direction we’re looking in. Are we looking down at our flesh, considering how to fulfill all our desires? Or are we looking up at the things above, to the things of the spirit, and to the only thing that will ever actually fulfill us? If we continuously keep our focus on the flesh, we will surely give in to our fleshly desires. No understanding of sin and flesh will keep us from pursuing them. It is only setting our sight and affection on what is so much better that will keep us from desiring lesser fulfillment. When we look up towards God we see what is so much better and more satisfying than anything we could experience on earth. Paul provides us with two really strong lists of what things fall into the categories of flesh and the spirit. Pursuing things on the first list simply lead to emptiness and heartache. A life lived with the fruit of the spirit is the real version that leads to real joy.
One of my favorite authors, CS Lewis, has an amazing quote that says, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” When you consider the patterns of your life it shouldn’t be difficult to recognize that every time you try and satisfy yourself with something in the world, it always fails you. Believe today that you are made to experience more, and that a relationship with your Creator is the only thing that can satisfy.
Father forgive me for keeping my eyes down, focused on my flesh. Give me the conviction and the strength to look up towards you and to live day to day with the fruit of your Spirit inside of me. Forgive me for putting created things above you in my heart, help me love You most.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.