Time Alone With God: Daily Devotional

Time Alone with God daily devotional

BY PHIL STOUT, LEAD PASTOR, JAXNAZ, JACKSON, MI

Friday, July 1

Read: Galatians 5:16-21

Galatians 5:16-21

New International Version (NIV)

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Consider: Paul said, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious” (5:19), and then listed some of those acts. Paul’s list is not exhaustive, but you’ll notice that he includes heinous sins—like idolatry, hatred and orgies—along with ones that are often overlooked—like envy and selfish ambition. This is often the case when Paul talks about sin. In his letter to the Romans, Paul put sexual immorality, murder and God-hating in the same list with gossip, slander and arrogance (Romans 1).

Why is this relevant? Well, for one thing it humbles us. We are always tempted to see our sins as minor when compared to the “big” sins. We’re humbled when we remember how badly we need the Holy Spirit—when we remember that we are powerless to overcome our own real sins.

But the main point Paul is making has to do with the nature of sin. He wants us to be aware of where sin originates—it is the result of the “sinful nature.” So the solution is living in step with the Spirit.

Living by my own effort and discipline is not the same as living in constant fellowship with the Spirit of God. His presence makes all the difference. He gives us victory. He gives us peace. He gives us joy. And that’s why we are free.

Pray: “Lord, teach me today what I need to learn from you. However you choose to do it, I ask that you would expand my insight this day as to what it means to walk in step with your Spirit.”

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