Passage: Galatians 5:13-26
Verse: Galatians 5:13b (NIV 2011)
But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Have you ever heard the expression of calling a spade a spade? Today’s passage does just that; it speaks honestly and directly on topics that are often avoided. We have been given, by God, the freedom to choose to be in a relationship with Him or not. If we desire a relationship with Him, we are to live and walk by the Spirit. We are not (to) use (our) freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. The acts of the flesh [we are to avoid] are obvious:
sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like [v. 19-21].
Denying the desire to indulge in fleshly things will not help us to gain power over them. We need to acknowledge any desires related to these things, before Christ, and turn away from them, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit are equally as obvious in this passage. They are:
love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [v. 22-23].
May we remember, and claim the promise, that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. In addition, since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit and love (our) neighbor as (ourselves) [v. 25 & v. 15]. (inspired by Reflecting God – Devotions for Holy Living, WordAction Publishing Company)