Galatians 5:19-25 talks about the works of the flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit. When we get saved (born again, ask Jesus into our hearts), the Fruit of the Spirit is given to us. We have two options in life – to “walk in the flesh” and to “walk in the spirit”.
So many Christians have no idea what this is or what this means. It’s actually very simple. We live in a body, we have a soul (mind, will, emotions) and we are a spirit. While living in that body, our soul can be the boss of us or the spirit can. To strengthen our spirit-man, we need to renew our thinking by getting into the Bible and studying.
Spending time with God, in His Word (the Bible), is spiritual because God is a Spirit. If we don’t spend time with God then we operate in our soul-realm (often called “the flesh”): our emotions (feelings), our will, our mind (thoughts). All our choices, not God’s. Our flesh (or soul) not our spirit. Not a good idea! The words “emotional wreck” come to mind! Ever been one?
When we don’t spend time in the Bible reading and in studying and meditating (pondering or thinking about what we’ve read, speaking it to ourselves) in some manner (faith-based DVDs, CDs, and books, church, meetings) then our soul will be the boss of us. When we don’t spend time with God in prayer, talking to Him, worshipping Him, ditto – bossy flesh!
Have you ever thought, “I want to eat that whole pie today” while you’re on a diet? And the more you try not to eat that pie, the more you sneak over and steal a bite, just one bite until it’s all gone? You fail and the next thing you know you’re foundered on the couch. THAT is your soul/flesh bossing you around.
Think of it as your body bossing you around, telling you what to eat, how to do things (or not), and making decisions that this will tend to death. The things of the spirit tend to life (God’s ways, ideas for us, etc.).
I don’t think people have thought this was a true statement because we don’t literally drop dead the minute we make a decision to obey our “flesh”. It really is gradual. One way to think about it is to decide to overeat bad foods constantly. That choice doesn’t destroy us instantly but if we keep it up and eventually we can develop Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses. Continue on in that choice and eventually we will die.
To accurately assess how well we are operating in the fruit of the Spirit, we need to be fruit inspectors. Since Galatians says one fruit of being connected with God is LOVE, let’s use love as an example.
Ephesians 5:2 says we are to walk in Love. So to be a fruit inspector, we examine our lives and see how much we walk in love toward those around us. At home or at work, are we gentle and kind? Are we thoughtful and courteous? Are we patient and forgiving? Or are we touchy and quick to take offense? Touchy, hard to work with, attitudinal, rude, and people hate to see us coming?
Most important of all, Love starts at home. If we aren’t walking in Love at home first, we only deceive ourselves when we think we are walking in love outside the home. We can be nice to everyone on earth BUT our family and we will be a huge failure in God’s eyes in our Love Walk.
We need to slow down and let our Love Walk be seen by the ones we say we love the most, first. Then carry love that to the outside world – at work, the grocery store, restaurants, passersby – then we will be walking in the fruit of the Spirit the way God intends us to!
In 2015, more than ever, it is important to strengthen our Love Walk. It is key to hearing from God, operating in His ways, and receiving His promises. It is key to our health and prosperity, peace and contentment, and overall well being in every area of our life.
Walk in Love – and be full of Joy!!
1 Thessalonians 5:23