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Praying for Our Children
Christina Fox
Walk by the Spirit
Christina Patterson

About Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.

Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson
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Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.

Walk by the Spirit

As we continue our Already Free series through the book of Galatians we learn that if we want to experience the true freedom of Christ we must walk by the Spirit. But what does that even mean? How do we walk by the Spirit? That’s exactly what we’ll be learning in today’s video.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for your precious Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit please guide and lead me in your wisdom and discernment that I may live free in Christ. I love You. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen. 

Read Today’s Message

Last week we discussed that Christ came so that we can live free. However, we learned that we can have that freedom and still not experience it. By trying to work for God’s grace we end up depriving ourselves of it. Today I want to continue our conversation on how to actually live free in Christ.  

As we continue our study of Galatians chapter 5, Paul explains that the freedom that we have in Christ does not mean that we just do whatever. It is that we desire, especially if we desire to sin. This freedom calls us higher. It’s a freedom that empowers us to do what God called us to do, and it frees us from being ruled by our sinful desires. We should use our freedom in Christ not to indulge in our desires, but to serve and love and be the women that God has called us to be. As we’ve learned, freedom in Christ does not mean freedom to sin; it means freedom from sin. It means freedom from the desires of our flesh so we can be free to do God’s will. 

In today’s text we learn how to actually live out this type of freedom. In Galatians 5:16-18 we read:

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 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 you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” – Galatians‬ 5:16-18‬ (NIV‬‬)

If we want to live free, we must walk by the Spirit. But what does that even mean? When you give your life to Christ you receive God’s Holy Spirit. And it is His Spirit in you that empowers and equips you to do God’s will and live free. Walking in the Spirit means giving your spirit what it needs to survive, which is in complete opposition of what your flesh desires. Either you will feed your Spirit or you will feed your flesh, and the one you feed more will win. Feeding your spirit will lead to freedom. Feeding your flesh will lead to sin and slavery. 

You’ve heard the phrase: “You are what you eat.” If you put in ungratefulness, covetousness will birth. If you put in looking at others, jealousy will arise. If we put in fear, hate will come. If we put in gossip, we will produce confusion. However, if we put in hope and truth, there will be peace. If we put in prayer, there will be power. If we put in fasting, there will be freedom from sin. If we put in Bible reading and studying, there will be clarity and direction. 

I’m not telling you how or when to do all of this, but not doing it will starve your flesh and the slavery to sin it brings. Pray to the Lord about which ways to best feed your spirit in this season of life, and do it for freedom’s sake. Galatians 5:19-23 tells us:

“The acts of the flesh 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. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians‬ 5:19-23‬ (NIV‬‬)

First, I want to point out the difference between the acts of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh represent a lack of trust in God and what we think we can do apart from Him. Works represent what we do and not trusting what God can do. All mistrust of God leads to sin. But the fruit of the Spirit represents a reliance and dependence on God, like roots to a vine, that produces a God-glorifying life. We cannot control the production of fruit, but when we are connected to God and walking in the Spirit, fruit will grow. 

Freedom in Christ does not mean freedom to sin; it means freedom from sin.CLICK TO TWEET

When we walk in the Spirit we will experience all the fruits of the Spirit that Paul lists in Galatians, about which he also says, “against such things there is no law.” That means when the Spirit is leading and producing these fruits in your life, you don’t have to worry about if you’re doing enough for God. When we are worried about what we do, if we’re doing too much or not enough, we’re concerned about the flesh and what we can do. It’s all about works. But when we are lead by the Spirit, we know God is leading us in the right direction. No law or rules can trump that. Romans 8:2 reminds us:

“because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans‬ 8:2‬ (NIV‬‬)

God is not holding back His will, waiting to see if we can guess it correctly. He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit to let us know which way to go. So we can live in freedom—free from doubt, insecurity, and fear. We can go in full assurance that His Spirit will never lead us where we are not to go. So we don’t need to stress out about figuring out what’s the right thing to do. We just walk by the Spirit, and He will lead us to a very free and fruitful life. 

Now I want to hear from you today, Beloved. Please comment and let me know: what fruits of the Spirit are you seeing harvested in your life right now? I can’t wait to chat more about it in the comments!

If you enjoyed today’s message be sure to share it with a friend because you never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I post new encouragement every week so be sure join Beloved to have my weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!” delivered directly to your inbox. As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.

Love,

Christina

P.S. Registration for the 2017 Beloved Women's Conference is now open! This one day event is filled with dynamic speakers, fun entertainment, breakout sessions and more to help you refresh your soul, enjoy your life, and empower your purpose. Click here to register to receive early bird pricing before this event sells out! 


Stand Firm in Your Freedom

Can we all just pause for a moment today to reflect on the fact that we serve a RISEN King! Our Lord and Savior is alive and not dead! Now we are free from sin. Free from guilt. Free from shame. Free from death. The work of Christ is finished! He came to set us free. So Beloved, let’s stand firm in that freedom!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the freedom you have granted me. I pray for the strength to live like I am free and to use my freedom to give you glory. I love You. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.

Read Today’s Message

The overall major lesson we have learned in this study is that we cannot work for our salvation, but God has provided our need for salvation by His grace through faith. As we start chapter 5, Paul sums up everything that we’ve been learning so far. He says:

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

We know that we are already free from sin and condemnation. However, Paul tells us that we need to stand firm in this freedom. If we do not, we will easily become burdened by living in the lie that we have to work for God’s love and forgiveness. How do we actually do that? How do we stand firm in the freedom that Christ died for us to have? We find the answer in Galatians 5:4, a verse that has stuck with me for months now. It reads:

“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Galatians 5:4 (NIV)

It’s the word “alienated” that struck me. It means a separation or a destroyed fellowship. What that means is this: we will never experience God’s grace when we are too busy trying to work for it. Yet we work, and strive, and hustle, and waste our lives trying to get something we already have. We live as slaves when we are already free. And it is in the striving that we lose the thing we are working for, because you cannot work for grace. Our trying to work for God is the very thing that distances us from God.

So how do we not lose the freedom that we already have? We stop trying to work for it. We place our faith in the finished work of Christ, and we rest in the truth that God’s grace is enough. You don’t have to think God is mad at you when you get in an argument with your spouse. You don’t have to beat yourself up when you get a bad grade. You don’t have to live condemned when you make mistakes. We are free from the burden of doing enough. It’s not about what we do, it’s about who God is.

We will never experience God's grace when we are too busy trying to work for it.CLICK TO TWEET

You know, every Christmas it never fails. My husband and I spend all this money on toys, and the kids end up playing with the boxes. I get it. The box is fun to play with, but the value of the gift is what’s inside the box. It’s the whole reason I purchased the box. When my kids only play with the box, they are missing out on the full value of what we gave them.

This is exactly what we do to God. He saved us so that we could live free. But we only accept the salvation and not the freedom. When we strive and work for what we already have in Christ, we miss the full value of the precious gift that Christ has already given us.

Our trying to work for God is the very thing that distances us from God.CLICK TO TWEET

I don’t know about you, but I want it all. I don’t want to be alienated from anything that is rightfully mine in Christ. So we must stand firm. We must live like we are loved and accepted daughters of the Most High God, and we must not allow any person, system, or thought to allow us to believe otherwise.

I leave you with John 8:36:

“So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36 (NIV)

Now I want to hear from you today, Beloved. Please comment and let me know: what does living free in Christ look like to you? I can’t wait to chat more about it in the comments!

If you enjoyed today’s message be sure to share it with a friend because you never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I post new encouragement every week so be sure join Beloved to have my weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!” delivered directly to your inbox. As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.

Love,

Christina

P.S. Registration for the 2017 Beloved Women's Conference is now open! This one day event is filled with dynamic speakers, fun entertainment, breakout sessions and more to help you refresh your soul, enjoy your life, and empower your purpose. Click here to register to receive early bird pricing before this event sells out! 


Where God's Promises are Fulfilled

Hello Beloved! Over the past few videos we have discussed the importance of knowing who we are in Christ. We also learned that our identity in Christ means more than anything we could ever do for Him.

To further drive in this message to the Galatians, Paul uses the story of Sarah and Hagar from Genesis to make the point that those who rely on faith and not works are the true children of God and heirs to the promise of Abraham—salvation from our sins and relationship with God.

We learn our efforts can never be enough. However, our response to our inadequacy should not be to rely on ourselves more, but to rely on the promise and faithfulness of God to do the impossible because that’s what He’s in the business of doing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting me as a beloved daughter. I pray for the power to rely on your strength and faithfulness and not to become distracted and frustrated with my weakness. I love You. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.

Read Today’s Message

Over the past few videos we have discussed the importance of knowing who we are in Christ as His beloved daughters. We also learned that our identity in Christ means more than anything we could ever do for Him. To further drive in this message to the Galatians, Paul uses the story of Sarah and Hagar from Genesis to make the point that those who rely on faith and not works are the true children of God and heirs to the promise of Abraham—salvation from our sins and relationship with God.

Let me tell you the story of Sarah and Hagar so you can truly grasp what he is saying in today’s text. We talked about Abraham a few videos back when we discussed God’s promise being greater than our works. Sarah, who comes up in today’s study of Galatians, was Abraham’s wife. God made a promise to Abraham that he would be the father to many nations. However, Abraham was old, Sarah was old, and she was also barren. So it was hard for them to believe this promise that they would have many children because at this point they didn’t have any, and it didn’t look like they would ever have one. Instead of trusting in God’s promise, Sarah told Abraham to sleep with her maidservant Hagar so he could have a child. So Abraham slept with Hagar, and she had a baby named Ishmael. As in most situations like this, there was some drama and it didn’t go well. Despite all that, God fulfills His promise and Sarah does become pregnant with their promised son, Isaac. Don’t you just love how even when we don’t trust God, He still remains faithful?

Although the Galatians had started to rely on their works for salvation and not God’s grace, God is so faithful to send Paul to get them on the right track. In today’s text in Galatians, Paul is using this story of Hagar and Sarah to make a very important point. It reads: 

His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. […] Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. […] Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.” – Galatians 4:23,28,31 (NIV)

Hagar’s son Ishmael represented works of the flesh. This means man’s effort to gain his own salvation. Sarah’s son represented the grace of God, that even when it seemed impossible, God would still deliver on His promise. So Paul reminds the Galatians: because of your faith, you are children of promise. It is not up to you to gain or add to your salvation. God will do it. 

If you're in too deep, let me tell you that's exactly where God's promises are fulfilled.CLICK TO TWEET

It was no hard thing for Hagar to get pregnant. She was young and fertile. As for Sarah, if it were not for God’s promise and faithfulness, it would not have happened. The same is true for our salvation. We can’t do it on our own. Our efforts can never be enough. But our response to our inadequacy should not be to rely on ourselves more, but to rely on the promise and faithfulness of God to do the impossible because that’s what He’s in the business of doing.The promise will not come through what you can attain on your own. The promise came through an old, barren woman. God loves to work through impossible situations. 

So if you feel that you’ve gone too far, you’ve done too much, you’re in too deep, let me tell you that’s exactly where God’s promises are fulfilled. We are not children of the slave woman. We are not slaves to our works, deeds, and an endless debt. We are children of the promise, and our God is faithful to fulfill it.

Now I want to hear from you today, Beloved. Please comment and let me know: what truth in today’s video stood out to you the most? I can’t wait to chat more about it in the comments!

If you enjoyed today’s message be sure to share it with a friend because you never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I post new encouragement every week so be sure join Beloved to have my weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!” delivered directly to your inbox. As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.

Love,

Christina

P.S. Kia will be speaking more on this topic at this year’s Beloved Women’s conference so be sure to get your ticket and sign up for her workshop “Maintaining Emotional Health in the Busyness of Life” before tickets sell out! --> www.belovedconference.org.