“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” ( Gal 5:16).
When we allow Christ to come into our lives, the Holy Spirit begins to work and reform our character. Every person who accepts Christ comes with a baggage. The baggage could be where those “acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” ( Galatians 5: 19-21).
The Apostle Paul writing to the Galatians explains that one must be willing to sacrifice the flesh in order to overcome the corruption of these evil influences. He writes, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” ( vv 24). But how does one do that, anyway? It is only by allowing the Holy Spirit begin the work of reformation that we experience change. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” ( vv 23- 24).
It is of no doubt that any of us may experience the corruption of the flesh even as believers in various ways. For some the struggle is with sexual immorality. There are those where it is idolatry of money. Some it is fits of rage. Some people struggle with unbridled ambition. There are those who are given to drunkenness. Some, even as believers, are quick to cause dissensions. Since Paul does not exhaust the list, we might as well add, gluttony and the use foul language. In fact, later he adds, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” ( vv 24).
For all, Paul urges us not just to recognize that these are the works of flesh, but even more, to know, “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” ( vv 24-25).
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I submit to you that my life is led by your Holy Spirit who gives us the power to overcome the works of the flesh, so that I am led by you, this I pray in Jesus’ name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!