Paul says in his letter to the church in Galatia that the works of the flesh are obvious. Those things we do and desire when we simply do what we want, apart from God, or when we think we are alone and God cannot see us. Paul’s list of things was his personal list, it is my list, and is a list that applies to everyman and woman when they live apart from the Spirit of God: "sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things". (Galatians 5:19-21)
The Message Bible restates Paul’s words this way, “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
Paul say’s that those who do these things, live in the flesh, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. He is not just talking about God's kingdom after you die, he is talking about his God’s Kingdom on earth, his Kingdom that is present now! Living in the above is hell. It is a dark life style where manipulation, depression, greed, and abuse of self and others thrives. I have been there and spent way to many years living, no existing (as I was not truly alive) like this.
Paul goes on to say, that in contrast the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; (5:22) The Message Bible explains it this way, “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
When we surrender to and live our life led by the Holy Spirit, we don’t just exist, we live!! We get a taste of heaven. We experience light, hope, love, true friendships and find our true identity. We inherit and enter into the Kingdom of God on earth.
But, to enter into the Kingdom of God we have to leave our “kingdom” at the entrance gate. To be controlled by the Holy Spirit, requires us giving up our control. It requires going “all in” with God. Do you desire the light of God’s kingdom enough to walk out of your kingdom? Do you want God to have total control of your life?
Read Romans 8:1-17; Galatians. 5:16-25, John 1:11-13
Watch the attached video by Francis Chan. Then please add any reflections or thought you have, or any prayer requests on being led by the Spirit.