Today’s reading: Galatians 5:16-26
Have you ever felt like there’s this self-sabotaging monster inside of you, causing you to do things you don’t want to do? You love your kids ... but get angry at them in an instant. You want to be confident in who you are ... but feel insecure at the slightest sense of rejection. You want to be easygoing ... but the moment you think about the future, you get stressed out. We want to be better than we know we are.
This is why today’s passage is such good news! Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t just mean going to heaven when you die, it means that right now, in every moment, God meets us and changes us and helps us to become more like the person He created us to be. Verses 19-21 are a list of everything we’re not supposed to be, and every one of us can identify with at least one thing on that list. Those are the areas where we sabotage our selves. That’s where the brokenness is.
As followers of Jesus though, we can celebrate that our character is being changed. Every day we surrender our sin to Jesus, and what this passage says is that His Spirit works inside of us and replaces our failures with “love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
This doesn’t come from us trying really hard to be better – we’ve done that before and failed. It comes from us asking God “would you bring the fruits of Your Spirit alive in me.”
Now what: What are 2-3 negative personality traits in your life you wish were gone? It could be insecurity, fear, anxiety, anger, lustfulness, jealousy, apathy, or a dozen other things. Don’t beat yourself up, just honestly assess areas that need improving. Talk to God about these areas. Admit that you’re broken and ask God for healing.
Look at that list of the “fruit of the Spirit” again. Which characteristics from that list would you want to replace the negative stuff (ex: peace in place of anxiety, gentleness in place of anger). Ask the Holy Spirit living inside you to bring His fruit alive in your life.
If you’re up for it, write down the traits you’re praying for God to work in you. Today, whenever you are struggling, pull out that card and quickly pray for God to bring those fruits alive in your life. Check out the verses below – how do they help you think differently about prayer? Pay specific attention to Rom. 8:26. Think about this verse, and what it could mean, throughout your day today.
Want more? Colossians 3:1-15
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