“let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Gal 5v16)
Such simple advice, but so often we find ourselves not following it. Paul says: If you are busy following the leading of the Holy Spirit you won’t be busy doing things that you shouldn’t be doing.
What is that ONE sin that still have its roots dug in? That one habitual sin that you keep revisiting and can’t seem to shake? Well, keep that one in mind, Paul’s advice would be this: Simply, follow the Holy Spirit!
…is that it? There must be more?
My assumption is that that advice “follow the Holy Spirit” has discouraged some of you because you have heard it before and you are looking for a hands on, practical way to defeat the sin that you can’t rid yourself of. But Paul’s advice is immensely practical!
The problem that a lot of us have is that in order to defeat our sin, we focus on it! We focus hard on NOT doing it any more. We pray hard against it, for deliverance from it, that Jesus will rescue us from it!…and all the while letting the SIN be the focus and not Jesus.
The remedy to this is to focus on Jesus and let the Holy Spirit lead your life! When we do this we notice the sin starts to get less and less. This is because we worship both Jesus and our sin at the same time. When all of your life is focused on becoming more like Jesus and being led by the Holy Spirit there is a lot less room in your life for the things that your sinful nature would have you do.
Ok, but practically, HOW?
PRAY. How much time are you spending in prayer?
Pray that God will help you make yourself more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Pray that your desires to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit become stronger and stronger.
Read the BIBLE. Every word in the Bible is there because God had it put there. Everything we need to know about life as a follower of Jesus is in the Bible and everything we need to know about being guided by the Holy Spirit is also in the Bible. When we read it God can reveal to us things that we didn’t know and He can take us deeper than just letting the words that we are reading settle in our heads.
Every time you to pick up your Bible ask God to reveal more of Himself to you. Ask Him to show you where you can change and to help you become more like Jesus through reading His word.
DO! When God talks to you through prayer and the through reading His word (and He will), do whatever He tells you. Apply what you have read to your life. The more you do it the more you will start to recognise the Holy Spirit guiding you in your life.
Ok so what about these fruits we’ve been reading about?
Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives (v22). These fruits are: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. These are very opposite to the list of produce that comes from our sinful desires in v19.
The fruits of the spirit are the result of the Holy Spirit working in our life. The Spirit produces in us these character attributes that are found in Jesus and we only get them when we let Jesus rule in our lives.
Once again it is the central message of the Bible – IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS!
Without Him these fruits aren’t available to us. In order to attain them we must KNOW Jesus, LOVE Him, IMITATE Him, FOLLOW Him.
In your time alone today, just relax and allow yourself the space to refocus on Jesus. Think, which of the fruits listed is v22 do you want the Spirit to produce in you?
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus upon Jesus, look full on His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His grace”