“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18
Some may wonder how will they know if they are living by the Spirit versus living by the law. Living by the law or under the law is like following rules, only not following them because they are the rules but because you might get caught not following the rules. Take the speed limit for instance, does a person go the speed limit because they want to or because they have to. Living by the Spirit is like going the speed limit because you want to, not because you have to. When you are led by the Spirit you don’t feel the need for speed on the highway, you’re happy to cruise, taking in the sights, the sounds and feeling with wind in your face. Those fruits of the Spirit, the peace, joy and self control are abundant when you are led by the Spirit.
Now turn that around and look through a different lens. A person sees the speed limit and ignores it, choosing to speed down the road of life. Then they see someone ahead of them going the posted speed, obeying the law because they want to, what do you think they feel? Maybe jealous because that other person seems so peaceful. Then comes hatred for those silly rule followers. Do you think the speed racer person is filled with kindness? how about patience? goodness? Yeah…no! More like fits of rage and selfish ambition. And you thought road rage was a new thing? Oh and while haul’n down the road of life, breaking all kinds of rules, just because they want to (that’s the sinful nature by the way) the only sights a person might take time to enjoy is something they shouldn’t be looking at. Like that pretty car in the next lane, “humm…why can’t I have one like that” they might begin to wonder.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passion and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 24-25
So is it just a given that if we belong to Christ Jesus that we will be led by the Spirit? Well my car has four wheels and is designed to take me where I need to go, but only if I start the engine, put gas in it and steer it in the direction I want go. So maybe accepting Jesus as my savior starts my journey, but I have to put fuel in (the word) and I need a driver to lead me in the right direction, that would be the Spirit. So maybe not so much a given as it is a decision to follow and a be submissive to be led, not because you have to, but because you want to.
Father God I praise you for providing a Savior for my sins, thank you for your word to nourish and enrich my life, and thank you for the Spirit that guides me through my life so that I can produce sweet abundant fruit for your glory. Amen.