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Have you noticed the variety of things listed in the works of the flesh? Many of us would agree that Murder and Envy are not even close; though envy left unchecked does sometimes lead to murder… every one of us who has been envious has certainly not killed somebody!  And in our culture today we are so quick to accept people if they are “good” even though they believe a false gospel, false religion, or false doctrine- yet in this same list with Adultery, Witchcraft, Drunkenness… we see Heresy!! Can we explain that? They all have one thing in common: they are works of the flesh. “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like:”

Achieving and maintaining the fruit of the Spirit should definitely be a major life goal for any Christian. Yet… HOW?  Is it as simple as learning about “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:” and trying to show them in our lives each day?  What if we’re good in one area- yet constantly struggle in another? You see- there are many works of the flesh. We each have certain ones that we struggle against. But the fruit of the Spirit is
just one. Yes, there is a list of nine ways it will show itself- but it is just one fruit from One Tree.

You see- as much as we like to point out the grey areas in life, the truth is much more clearly seen in only two dimensions. Light & Darkness. The Works of the Flesh vs. The Fruit of the Spirit. As much as we may want to live in our imaginary 3rd dimension of enjoying our life in the flesh “as long as we aren’t hurting anyone else…” we can’t really support this with Scripture. Each step we take, each decision we make, each and every day we are either living according to our flesh or our spirit. If we are saved- we have both. And until we reach heaven’s shores it will be a daily battle.

When we are born again the Spirit of God moves within us. It is then up to us to crucify the flesh “with the affections and lusts” and “walk in the Spirit.”   You see, “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” And yet the Bible encourages us to, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” So many times we struggle daily with controlling our words, our temper, our attitudes, on and on… yet the only things we can truly do are crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit. Everything on the outside will naturally follow the Spirit if we are led by the Spirit. If we are daily feeding the desires of our flesh- it is no wonder when we cannot control our words, thoughts, attitudes, or actions.

We might think we just have a little problem with patience… but we’re doing good in all the other areas. Or maybe we lack faith, but see ourselves as achieving in love and goodness.  Let’s read through Galatians 5 and 6 with an open heart and prayer towards God that His Light would shine through our hearts and show us where we need Him.  We need His fruit in our lives. And we need to acknowledge that His fruit comes as a WHOLE. When we are walking in the Spirit He gives us “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:” ALL OF IT!!

If you are struggling today with the fruit of God’s Spirit in your life- seek Him!

Crucify the flesh.

Walk in the Spirit.

 


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