This Day in History: 0000-10-13
October 13 – Galatians 5:13-18
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
Can you relate to the feeling of being at war within yourself? Can you feel the battle that is raging inside between the Spirit of God, and our own fallen, sinful natures? I’m sure we can all identify with the truth of this passage!
If I’m understanding these verses correctly, though, (you may need to go read the whole chapter of Galatians 5 to get some context here if you can’t see what I’m about to say.) letting go of our constant attempts to “keep the law” or to do what’s right can bring great freedom. You see, it is not in our own strength that we’ll ever be able to win these battles.
If we’re still caught in the trap of obeying the law of Moses, then it is likely we’re not living in the freedom we’ve been given through the power of the Holy Spirit. The freedom to live in victory.
Friends, this is not easy to do. It’s so difficult to separate our own “good intentions,” (which are really just selfish desires to appear better than others) from the truly righteous leading of the Holy Spirit of God. But the Bible tells us in so many different places to simply ask God for help, for wisdom, for His Spirit, for His will, for whatever we need. So let’s do that right now!
Let’s ask Him to lead us. Let’s ask Him for wisdom and clarity to see ourselves for who we really are. Let’s ask Him to show us our hearts and bring us face to face with our sinful nature. And then, let’s surrender that to Him and ask Him to fill us up with His Spirit so that we can live in victory and freedom.
Let’s stop trying to do what’s right and simply try instead to follow the Spirit. What He leads us to do will always be right, it will always be loving, it will always be self-less, and it will always be the opposite of what our sinful nature craves. May we never forget that as those purchased by His blood, He has called us to live in freedom!