If the Son of God were to personally accompany us through each one of our days we would soon become highly sensitive to right and wrong. We would quickly realize that our excuses to walk in the flesh do not hold water. The truth is that this is exactly what he’s promised to do! Jesus told his disciples that the father would send “another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit dwells within us and performs this role of teaching and guiding and reminding for all who desire to be sensitive to Him.
I can remember when I was younger I had moments where I would find myself in a situation where there were two blatant decisions to make. I don’t think you ever grow out of that. But being as young as I was, it was as if my hand was holding a door knob that I knew wasn’t the right choice to make and I had these thoughts rush through my mind. One of my thoughts sounded like this, “If my mom knew I was going to do this, she would be so disappointed.” I have to remember that there is One who is more sensitive against sin than the purest mother who ever walked the earth. This One dwells in our hearts, and if there is anything unholy, impure, selfish, mean, petty, unkind, harsh, unjust, or evil in act or word, He is grieved by it. We must remember that there is no place I can go where I am alone. I might think from time to time that I am but I must never believe it.
Look what Paul says, “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” - Galatians 5:19-26
In this passage Paul writes about Christians learning to live by the Spirit. Look over the list and see what is prevalent in your life. Red flags ought to surface if you see the flesh coming through. Remember, the Holy Spirit, who is the embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit, is living inside of you as a disciple. As a growing disciple of Christ, you would have to go out of your way to grieve the Spirit. As I look through the list of the “acts of the flesh,” I notice that many of these qualities influence others or are a reaction to others. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. It’s time we keep in step with the Spirit and to do that daily. There should be no room for anything but Christ alone.
I am looking forward to continue our series, “Inside the Fence.” Have a blessed day as you are intent on listening to the Spirit of God show you where you reside today.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene