In Galatians chapter 5, Paul shows us the difference between life according to our nature (our flesh) and a life according to the Spirit:
“So this is what I say: walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of your own nature. […] The works of human nature are evident: they are [adultery,] sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, magic, hatred, quarrels, jealousy, anger, rivalries, divisions, sects, envy, [murders,] drunkenness, overeating and the like. […] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, benevolence, faith, gentleness, self-control. “- Galatians 5: 16 – 22
What a contrast between the fruits produced by a life according to our nature and life according to the Spirit! The question we can then ask ourselves is: how to live according to the Spirit? Find out below how you can live according to the spirit;
1. Recognize that you can’t do anything
The first step is to realize that, as we are powerless to save ourselves by our works, we are also unable to change ourselves for the better by our own will, as Jesus reminds us in John 15.5: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and in whom I abide bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.
Abiding in Christ is quite similar to walking in the Spirit, and that is how we bear fruit.
So let us first come to God and recognize our inability to do good without him, that all good in us is a grace that he grants us and that we are totally dependent on him. By recognizing that everything comes from him, not only do we ask for his power, but we remain humble before his action in our lives.
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This naturally follows from the fact that we recognize that we cannot do anything without God, we want to turn to him for his help. God gives us an incredible promise in Romans 8:15: “And you have not received a spirit of bondage to fear yet, but you have received a Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, ‘Abba! Father !”.
So, God takes pleasure in our coming to ask for his help. He adopted us, we are his children, and access to his throne is always guaranteed to us!
3. Have confidence
This step follows naturally enough from prayer, but it is essential. We must have confidence in what we pray. And if it is difficult, we can also ask God to allow us to trust him and his promises! Let us first remember that even if we fail in this walk according to the Spirit, which we will inevitably do, we are no longer condemned thanks to Jesus Christ, according to Romans 8.1.
The action comes as the fourth step, and it is very important that it does not come before because otherwise, it would be our works that would save us.
The Spirit will always transform us more by the action of the Gospel in our lives. According to Philippians 2: 12-13, we are called to apply our salvation, but not without reminding ourselves that even the will to be able to do good comes to us from God. This is why action comes forth, but it is nonetheless crucial for there to be real change in our lives.
Let us also remember that sin is not something trivial that we try to get rid of here and there. It is a merciless war that we are waging, for sin cost nothing less than the death of Jesus on the cross. It is therefore justified to act radically in our struggle against sin, and God will give us the strength to make these changes in our lives for his glory.
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Let us not forget to thank God and not to be indifferent to his action in our lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, “Give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. “
Once again, thanking God when he acts in our lives will make us humble, for we will remember that it is by God, and not by our strengths that these changes have taken place!
It is not an easy program given to us here, because we will have to struggle with our nature. But we can remember the fruits promised to us in Galatians 5:22: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, benevolence, faith, meekness, self-control. What a magnificent hope!