Paul is pleading with the early believers in Galatia to serve one another in love(Galatians 5:13). The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself,” he told them(Galatians 5:14). He explains the conflict that goes on in the heart of a believer. There’s a war between the sinful nature and the Holy Spirit living within. When the sinful nature is winning we destroy relationships with our attitudes and behaviour. He draws attention to such things as conceit, envy, selfish ambition and jealousy as well as more obvious sins such as sexual immorality, witchcraft, and drunkenness. Paul then makes this stunning declaration; ‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires,’(Galatians 5:24).
The problem for me and you is this - have we done that? I’ve often heard teaching about the nine aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. People have said we don’t have to strive to produce this fruit. The Holy Spirit will produce it in us. Yet I see in this passage that the Apostle Paul expects his new converts to crucify the sinful nature if they want to belong to Jesus. ‘How is it to be done?’ is my next question. How do we ‘keep in step with the Spirit and live by the Spirit’?
We need to pray and ask the Lord to make us aware of any attitudes inside us that are not pleasing to Him. Let Him show us any conceit or pride we have that makes us look down on others in judgment, thinking ourselves better than them. Do we, in our heart of hearts, have envy or jealousy? Do we think others are being given preferential treatment? Do we really care about how others are getting on, or are we too absorbed in our own problems? The Lord will surely answer these prayers from our heart. Then we need to ask forgiveness and allow the Lord to show us a better way of thinking. He will show us how to love others, bless them, and see them as He does.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please show me the areas of my sinful nature that I need to put to death. I’m sorry if I’ve been allowing myself to become arrogant and proud, and if I’ve been harsh and judgmental towards others. Help me to deal with anything that you show me. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.