Isaiah 33: 10—36:22
Every beauty queen in the history of the world says it when asked their interview question….”I want world peace.” We have a peace sign and a hand gesture that reflects peace. But according to God’s word this peace we are all hoping for will not come until Christ comes back and rules in the Millennial Kingdom. There are some who teach that our job on this earth is to live in peace and harmony and essentially develop utopia. SPOILER ALERT: While Satan is free to roam the earth, prowling around for victims, and we are still saddled with this awful sin nature, there will be no utopia. We are only in the middle of the story. The end of the story does bring the return of the utopia we had in the garden, but we are not there yet. Chapter 35 of today’s reading explains to us what the end will be like.
Galatians 5: 13-26
Get in the habit of asking yourself, “Is what I am doing right now fruit of the flesh or fruit of the Spirit?” If what you are doing can be categorized as; sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these; STOP and turn around immediately, ask God to forgive you, tell yourself NO and get out of there. You are about to pick a big juicy fruit of the flesh!!! This fruit is not good for you.
If what you are doing can be categorized as; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control; THANK GOD that the Spirit is alive in you and that you have been empowered to say yes to the Spirit and no to your flesh. As Paul says, there is no law against any of the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is good for you. These behaviors bring life and unity to any situation. You will not have to seek forgiveness after you exercise these muscles in your body.
I have good news and bad news for you. Which do you want first? Too bad, you are getting the bad news first. If you are not telling yourself “NO” at least 100 times a day, then you need to take a good long look at what kind of fruit your life is producing. But, now for the good news, if you have been telling yourself “NO”, and seeking the fruit the Spirit produces then there is a good chance that you are starving out that part of you that produces “flesh fruit” and feeding the Spirit that produces “Spirit fruit.” This is where the Middlemarch comes alive my friends. When moment to moment you can feed the Spirit and starve the flesh, your life will LIGHT UP!!!