13 February 2014
The spiritual journey of transformation is no doubt filled with ups and downs. Not everyday is a wonderful day, and there are times when dry spells hit or circumstances make it hard to feel connected or at peace with God.
It is especially in times like these when I am grateful for the unchanging and sure reminders in Scripture. In Galatians 5:14, it says “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh….But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”
The fruits of the Spirit so aptly describe emotions and actions that are life giving and immediately shines a spotlight into areas of my life where i am not walking in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit requires a conscious effort everyday and every moment. It is also always met with resistance from the flesh which wages war against it. Spiritual battles start in the mind. And i know that when i am feeling annoyed and impatient, i am yielding to my flesh and a battle is ensuing. If i depend on my own strength and effort to fight off the battles of the mind, i am bound to fail sooner or later – either out of sheer exhaustion or a slip in self-control.
I believe walking in the Spirit is firstly the relinquishing of my physical strength and mind to God by saying “i cannot do this on my own, i’ve tried but i’ve failed and i need your help” – and then it takes me to actively invite His presence into every area of my life where i feel out of control and say “here, You take control, i am relying on you.”.
Sometimes it helps me to say a short prayer with actual words spoken out loud. And as i speak the prayer, i believe i am releasing the Spirit of God into every circumstance.
Father, please take control, i release my burdens, tiredness, stress and situation into Your hands. I commit myself to walk in Your Spirit and ask for the fruits of the Spirit to form in my life now – by these words, I will walk in love, i will feel Your joy, i will have Your peace, i will persevere in patience, i will act in kindness, i will trust in goodness, i will remember Your faithfulness, i will speak in gentleness, and i will exercise the power of self-control by Your Spirit.