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.
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.
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.
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!