Galatians 5:22–26 ‘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.’(vv24–25)
I am by nature an enthusiast. Problem is that I willingly and sincerely commit without pausing to calculate if I have the capacity to follow through on that commitment. So many speak of their enthusiasm for God, yet know the disappointment that accompanies moments of slippage.
Those times when something interrupts our intended devotion. At its worst it leads us to sin; in every case it distracts our pursuit of God’s person and presence. It appears as though life is little more than a see-saw as we undulate between conviction and confession.
If we are to make our way in growing as Jesus’ disciples, then we must pay particular attention to the fruit of the Spirit. This assortment of self-management tools is God’s free gift to all who choose to express faith in Jesus.
However, learning to handle such tools takes time. They are often counter-intuitive responses to the behavioural lessons we have learnt through observation and instinct. It is no surprise that in His humanity Jesus entered the wilderness to learn how He might remain submitted, yet responsive, to His Father.
Like us, He grew in wisdom and stature through obedience (Luke 2:52). Lent is a useful season to audit our competency in utilising this fruit in our everyday experience, and I invite us to do that together in the days ahead.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Josh. 7:6–13; Prov. 16:28–33; Luke 14:28–35; 1 Cor. 10:1–13.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Make yourself familiar with the tools God has placed in your tool box for life (Gal. 5:22–23). Have the courage to audit how well you have learnt to use them.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may my enthusiasm be tempered by the reality of completing the race and not pulling up short. Amen.’
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash