The Me I Want to Be

Gwen Smith Blog, Holiness, Holy Spirit 9 Comments

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Galatia during his second missionary journey. He was frustrated that many believers were wavering in their faith. Not good.

In Galatians 5, he reminded the believers that Christ died so that they could be free. And he was careful to distinguish that their freedom was not to sin but from sin.

He went on to tell them of the spiritual battle that was taking place between their fleshly desires and their holy desires. Between walking by the Spirit and walking by the flesh.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16–18)

How can we be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh? Paul spelled it out in the next few verses by identifying what flesh-led living looks like. Here’s his list:

Sexual immorality
Impurity
Debauchery
Idolatry and witchcraft
Hatred
Discord
Jealousy
Fits of rage
Selfish ambition
Dissensions
Factions and envy
Drunkenness
Orgies and the like

“And the like” means this list is not exhaustive, but it should help us get the gist. All of these are ungodly choices that oppose the will of God.

My church-girl temptation is to look at this list and see how I measure up. Am I good enough, God? (Someone hit a game-show buzzer!) Not what I should do. This list should serve as a resource to me and as a reminder that while “orgies” and “witchcraft” might not be my biggest struggles, “fits of rage” and “selfish ambition” sure can sneak into my moments.

I walk in the flesh when I blow a gasket with my people, in traffic, in that email, or at my job. I walk in the Spirit when I ask the Lord to take away my anger and frustrations, help me sift through ungodly emotions, provide the grace He promises, and help me respond to my people in a way that brings Him honor and glory.

I walk in the flesh when I think more about myself than others. When I want to be first, be the best, have the most, be the boss, tell everyone else how they should behave, or demand to sit in a prominent position. I walk in the Spirit when I humble myself before Jesus, when I look out for the interests of others and esteem them as better than myself (Phil. 2:3–4), and when I serve others and give my life away for the sake of Jesus (Matt. 20:26–27).

Ultimately, when I walk in the Spirit, my life will echo the characteristics of Jesus. That’s the me I want to be. I will bear the fruit of His Spirit and choose responses, thoughts, and attitudes that exemplify the power of God at work in and through me.

Ready for one more list? Here’s the Vogue magazine cover of true beauty … The fruits of walking in the Spirit are:

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

I want the beauty of God’s Spirit to be visible in my life. Don’t you?

Paul went on to sum up the fruit bearing this way: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:24–25).

There it is plain as day, one of the greatest challenges to humankind: the call to live out the love and freedom of Christ by laying aside all desires, thoughts, decisions, and responses that are against God’s will and, instead, putting on the humility of Jesus and yielding our hearts to His Spirit.

If I want all of the power God has for me, I need to rely on His Spirit and look to Him as my helper, comforter, advocate, and counselor who leads me in all truth. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

I pray this for you. I pray this for me.

Because I want to trust God for all of the joy and peace He will give me.

I want to overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I want the Holy Spirit to consume my heart.

Completely.

Imagine what our lives, families, churches, and communities would look like if you and I invited the Spirit of God within us to connect our life dots and prepare us for spiritual battles each day. Surely the world would see a beautiful, vibrant, powerful faith picture.

Dear Lord,
Help me to live by Your Spirit today so that I am prepared to represent You well in each opportunity that comes my way.
In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Ephesians 5:8. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

What would it look like for you to walk in the Spirit as a child of light with your choices and responses today?

How will that impact those around you?

Let’s PRAY for each other as we consider the ways God is calling us to walk as children of the light. POST a PRAYER on my blog wall, then PRAY for the needs mentioned in 3 other posts! Be the body. Be the beauty. Be the light.

LOVE you so much! Have an awesome day!

GWEN

 

C’MON OVER! I’VE GOT A GIFT FOR YOU! Since we are rebuilding our home after a house fire I figured I’d also rebuild my cyber home—my website. Why not? I’m already going a bit crazy. Might as well go all in! My home is still several months away from being livable, but my website is all ready to move in. I’d love for you to come by GwenSmith.net for a visit. I’ve got the welcome mat out just for you! I can’t serve you coffee and brownies, but I can offer you another goodie that’s even better…a 25% OFF coupon. And you don’t even need to take your shoes off. Use the COUPON CODE NEW25 and enjoy 25% OFF any purchase of $20 or more from the new store!

 

*Today’s post is an excerpt from my book, I Want It All

 

 

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Comments 9

  1. Oh Lord, I pray that you lift me up through the Holy Spirit today. I know I cannot do it on my own and long for your mercy and love. I have been in a depression for 11 months now, jobless, overweight and lost in the wilderness. Please bring me back to the God-Fearing, faith filled women I know I am. Please lead me back to the light. I pray for my “sparkle” to come back. Amen.

  2. Dear Lord please help me with my addiction to pain medicine. I know to trust you in this. This is day four and it is getting better with my faith in you. In Jesus name I pray.

    1. Post
      Author

      Lord, we agree with Johanna in this prayer today and ask that you would break the chains of addiction in her life. Please give her the strength and determination – and the divine ability to resist the lure of pain medication. We ask this so that your glory can be magnified in and through this victory, in Jesus’ name, amen.

  3. Dear Father, I read another devotion that reminded me how good it is that I am not the author of my story. I praise You for the trials, tribulations, challenges, and difficulties that have provided me with a wellspring of experiences that are now the basis for my own poems & devotions. I pray for continued strength to write your story in a way that will uplift & bless others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  4. I pray for my daughter to not work so much that she misses her 6 year old son growing up. Since school started, she has been working not only a split day shift but also a night job at the some place. Because she does not own a car, it is hit or miss (especially on the weekends when the bus does not run down our way) whether or not she comes home to take care of him. So pray for me as well as I help to raise my grandson. Praise Jesus!

  5. It was so dark for such a very long time… I didn’t feel anything, not even the Lord… however, I asked him each and every day, ” What is it You want me to do?” … And all I could hear was, “Be still and know that I am God…you do not have to do anything except hold on…just let me do my job…” and that is what I did every night for many nights… and I am happy to say I have made it through the black as pitch…I pray for others who are far away from the light and would encourage you to simply hold on: another second, another minute, another hour another day… God can and He will !

    1. That’s me, in need of holding on to God the Father’s love, and know to be filled with His Joy, His peace, His Light, His Deliverance from this time in my life. Thank you for your prayers as is my intercession for those who are going through trying times.

  6. Oh, that the Spirit of God would rise up within me this morning. That where ever I go and who ever I speak to would only Glorify my Father in heaven.

  7. Gwen!
    Your sermon for today has blessed me tremendously. My prayer today is to be filled to overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience,gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control. AMEN
    God bless you!
    Rev. Marti Thames

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