Take in Stride
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
The Apostle Paul gives great insight as to what it means to live in the spirit as opposed to living in the flesh. He emphasizes how both are directly working against each other. Living according to the flesh leads us straight down the path towards a life of sin. However when we’re living in the spirit, we’re able to obtain eternal fruits that only come from heaven. It is through Christ that our sinful nature is nailed to the cross as we start journeying in and through the spirit. Having God in us proves to be the best reward that makes us whole, dignified, and purposeful. Paul warns us to not allow being of the spirit take the best of our flesh. This means to constantly place our pride at the foot of the cross, humble ourselves to one another, and rather than having wondering eyes that covet what others have focus on Jesus and how He is calling us to be more like Him.
Being more seasoned within ministry, I’m learning so much about how our works for Jesus and His saints can get the worst of us if our spirit isn’t grounded in Christ alone. Satan can use our influence to grow our heads and shrink our hearts. Whether we are platformed, operate through our titles or positions, see results through operating through our gifting and talents, receive applause from man based upon our efforts… the list goes on and on! These are all good things within themselves, but if we are defining our identities through what we do rather than who God says we are, we’re walking down on a path of self-destruction. Though we can claim that our efforts for Jesus, operating through our own flesh will eventually lead us to tiredness, weariness, and burnout and Satan will throw resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness into our spirits. We need to follow the example of Jesus who’s bottom line was to serve and not be served. It’s easy to do and say things are for God, but if we look deep down inside I’m sure we can find and admit that there are portions of our heart that more more motivated doing things for more ourselves. We need to constantly clean the ash out of our alters, ask the Lord for a renewal of heart, and stay connected with God to ensure that we are in the spirit and not of the flesh.
Forgive me God for the many times that I would say with my mouth that my works and efforts were for Jesus when my heart was secretly trying to fulfill my own fleshly desires. Help me in times of weakness so that I can choose to be in You and not of me. Be my center, be my source, be my light, Jesus!