"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." - Galatians 5:16-25
Monday, September 27, 2010
Flesh or Fruit?
Yesterday in my 6th-grade Sunday School class, I posed a question that I thought should be somewhat obvious to these two students who have seemingly grown up going to church. I asked: "As Christians, should our lives look different than the lives of the non-Christians around us?" The answer? One of the students slowly shook her head "no" with a look of slight confusion and uncertainty. The other, in his own words of "taking a guess" said "no".
It took us reading through the following passage in Galatians and writing both the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit side by side on the white board to come to an understanding. Once the students saw the stark difference, they agreed that the life of a believer should in fact look different than that of a non-believer.
In all honesty, it saddened and shocked me when I heard my students' first responses. Perhaps they didn't understand my question or had zoned out momentarily before I asked the question. But I couldn't help but wonder . . . Do they see no difference in the lives of those they know who claim to be Christians verses those who do? Is the practical, day-to-day living out of faith in Jesus being modeled to them? So I pose the question to you: how are you walking? Are you walking in the deeds of the flesh? Or have you crucified such passions and desires, taking up the call to walk in the Spirit? Are you daily choosing to die to self?
I pray that the Spirit would be at work in our hearts, stirring us to put feet to our faith in daily situations and circumstances. May we be found faithfully modeling the practical aspects of Christianity to those around us; and may we ultimately be found living to please the One who gave us life.