Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Galatians 5:16-25 (NRSV)
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
I am a big man. At 6 foot, 7 inches tall, I literally stand head and shoulders above a lot of people. Unfortunately, for most of my adult life, I have been wider than most people as well. It was easy for me to let my weight go. After all, food tastes good and I always thought exercise should qualify as a four-letter word. However, as I get older, I have begun to realize that if I want to live longer, I have to make some changes. It hasn’t been easy. I have had to eat less and make better choices. I have also had to conquer my fear of exercise. I now go to the gym for an hour almost every night.
As I have made these changes, amazing things have happened. Exercise has become fun. Food has become satisfying. Most importantly, I feel better than I have in years. It hasn’t been easy, but the changes have been the best thing that I could have ever done. People are beginning to notice the change that is taking place in my shape, and my attitude.
It is easy for us to fall into the trap of living for the flesh. Paul’s list of the works of the flesh is an easy one in which to get involved. Unfortunately, it can be much more difficult to live a life that displays the fruits of the Spirit. It takes hard work. It takes a change of lifestyle. However, if we put in the work, amazing things will happen. The more we work, the easier it will get. We will find purpose in life. We will also find that people will notice and they will want to follow.
Giving God, you have provided us with so many gifts—life, salvation, hope, eternity, and so much more. You have given us the Holy Spirit to guide us to a life of purpose and true joy. Help us to follow the guidance of the Spirit so that we may enjoy those fruits and so that others will also want to follow. Amen.
Go with God.