Galatians 5:16–26

Read this passage!

Years ago, I chose my graduate school in one afternoon. That day I had the opportunity to sit with a graduate of this program and we just talked . . . about life and work. By the end of that afternoon I felt, “This is who I want to become professionally.”

This is Paul’s heartfelt vision: that we become followers that reflect Jesus. This is the heart of freedom. We are not just freed from sin, death, and legalism. Rather we are freed to become like Christ. But how does this happen? Listen to Paul, “Live by the Spirit…led by the Spirit…fruit of the Spirit…keep in step with the Spirit.” It happens when we experience and submit to the grace-filled presence of the Holy Spirit.

But practically what does this mean? The familiar admonitions are true: read the Bible, pray, and stay close to the family of God. But how does this work for me today in the moment by moment existence of my life?

Maybe it is like being lost in the woods in the dark. An experienced guide comes along. How do I let him help me? I start by acknowledging the reality that at this moment I am lost and needy. I cannot do this on my own. I have to trust completely that the guide cares about my good and knows what I need. I have to give up my effort to save myself and do just what he says and does. I have to stay close to walk in the light, step by step by step.

So in this day, set aside moments to be open to the Spirit. With His strength submit in those small decisions of mundane life. Choose:

• Gratitude over greed, lust, and ambition
• Trust over grasping for independence
• Obedience over rebellion
• Compassion over judgment
• Openness over rigidity
• Joy over bitterness, worry, or regret
• Creating moments to feel God’s presence over self-distraction
• Serving over focusing only on myself.

In the moment, ask God to help you start making this commitment to freedom.

About the Author :  Tim Clark

My wife, Suzanne, and I have had the pleasure to serve at Chase Oaks for 25 years.