Galatians 5:16-26 – “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” NKJV
There is much more in these verses than a short simple devotional can exegete so I will simply present something that hopefully will inspire you to delve deeper into individually. The apostle Paul brought to the attention of the Galatians as to the importance of a Spirit led life rather than a life dominated by fleshly passions, lusts, desires and propensities. He identified the war within our beings of “Spirit and flesh”. He presented, what to many, was a revelation that IF one is led by the Spirit of God they are free from the Law. They are not free from moral constraint or righteousness but from the man-made directives that had become incorporated into the Law.
He then takes a most interesting approach. He identifies WORKS and FRUIT. The flesh produces no fruit only works and the Spirit produces fruit that will be walked out and could be identified as works. He gives a lengthy list of WORKS: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, and outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like. Examine the list carefully and you will likely be surprised that some of these are called WORKS but they are the outworking of the flesh. He then gives a lengthy list of FRUIT: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We might have called some of these works and as they are walked out in our lives they are actions that manifest the heart and reveal the character.
We are either dominated by the flesh or the Spirit and when our lives find the overriding manifestation of FRUIT we realize that the flesh is losing control and we are becoming Spirit led people who can not only represent our LORD but manifest Him to the world.
Paul identified the need to LIVE IN THE SPIRIT so that we can WALK IN THE SPIRIT and that is a safeguard against becoming conceited and allows us to motivate not provoke or envy another. We will become assembled members of the Body of Christ where each part provides that which it was designed and created to perform and provide thus advancing the Kingdom mightily.
LORD help me be a fruit person not a works person! God bless you as you go through this day!