If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.Galatians 5:25
Our Sunday school kids frequently find themselves in positions of discussing what it means to “live by the Spirit” as followers of Christ. A lot of times we try to change our behaviors without changing our hearts. We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that if we can just get our words, actions, and attitude in line, we will have an easier time following Him. Part of that is true. We do need to strive to make wise choices that glorify God. But it’s also a little mixed up…our choices flow from the state of our heart. As Christ followers, we have been given the presence of the Spirit to guide us and convict us. We are also no longer slaves to sin but children of God. That being said, instead of starting with our behaviors, maybe we should be tackling our heart issues first. Are we truly living for God’s glory and not our own? Are we really working as if everything we do is for the Lord? Are we willing to love our neighbors as Christ loves us? Even the ones we disagree with?
As our kids have discovered, to see the fruits of the spirit displayed in our lives we must feed our relationship with the Spirit. We must spend time seeking God’s will, growing in our understanding of His Word, communing with Him in prayer, and listening to the Spirit’s guiding. If we try to produce the fruits without the Spirit, they are simply fake fruits…kind of like the ones you find in the kitchen center of a preschool room. They look good, but they aren’t really fruits. Just good works that will eventually fade. So won’t you join me in taking time today to assess your spiritual fruit stand? Let’s look closely. Are we really in step with the Spirit…producing fruits that can only be credited to the work of the Spirit? Or are we just trying to make good choices without the heart work?