Galatians 5:16-26; Ezekiel 1; Psalm 148
Freedom is an often misunderstood idea. Freedom doesn’t mean that you can do anything you want. As someone put it, “Freedom to swing your arm stops where my nose begins.” As Christians, though, that freedom is even more clearly defined: we are no longer slaves of sin, we can do what God wants us to do. Paul talks about this as a battle between the Spirit and the flesh. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) The key to our freedom is not that we can do anything we want as followers of Christ; the key is that we have the power to live like God wants us to live. In fact, we gain the desire to live like God wants us to. Paul continues this discussion by talking about works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Some people seem to think that they can go ahead and live in the flesh because God forgives anyway. The truth is that if we truly have Christ in our lives, there should be a change in our lives. We not only should stop living in the flesh, we should want to stop living according to those worldly desires. Instead, we should live in the Spirit and see things in our lives like love, joy, peace – you know the rest. The fruit of the Spirit is not so much a goal that we strive for as it is a gauge to see how close we are to living in the Spirit; to living in freedom with Christ. We crucified those fleshly desires when we came to Christ, or should have, and our desire should be to live in freedom from them – to live in freedom that displays the fruit of the Spirit.
Oh Lord, I have freedom in You to live not according to the world’s standards, but in the joy that is shown in life in the Spirit. Continue to help me kill worldly desires and to live in Your Spirit.