Live By The Spirit
(Koh Geok Cheng, Chairperson of Glowing Years Ministry (GYM) )
“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 5:16-17 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 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. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:22-26 NIV
As I read the above verses from Galatians 5 about Life by the Spirit, these stood out for me:
- The Holy Spirit is our guide and counsellor, given to us when we receive Jesus into our lives.
- The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome our sinful desires.
- We produce godly characteristics (fruit of the Spirit) when we live by the Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit helps us to live to honour God, not to seek man’s approval.
The Holy Spirit lives within me when I receive Jesus into my life. I have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and counsel to help me change my ways to produce more godly characteristics in my life.
It is not easy. I have been a Christian for 30 years but I am still a work in progress. Why? It is because I am sinful by nature with sinful desires. At times I do what I think is right because it is the norm practised in the world. I get angry when I feel that I have been misunderstood or unappreciated. I have even tried to justify my anger by getting others to be on my side to agree with me, without seeking guidance and counsel from the Holy Spirit.
Today’s reading is a good reminder for me to be thankful for God’s grace and mercy that I have the Holy Spirit to guide me, without which I will probably keep my old habits and ways which are hard to break. There are always distractions in the world and my sinful desires lurk around. I have to stay focused on walking closely with God to recognise and respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
I have to:
- Set aside time daily to read God’s Word, meditate on it, and discern the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
- Repent of my sinful desires and resist succumbing to temptations.
- Be humble and change my ways to produce the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us when we receive You into our lives. Fall afresh on me as You help me to discern Your Holy Spirit’s guidance. Give me strength and humility to change my sinful ways that I may reflect more of the fruit of Your Spirit so that others may see and know You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.