But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25
In yesterday’s verse we were urged to set our minds on the Spirit that we might live by the Spirit. In today’s verses, Paul paints a picture of what living in the Spirit looks like. Given what we learned yesterday; specifically, that the focus of our minds produces are actions and eventually our character, what thoughts are necessary for us to find the fruit of the Spirit in our lives? What thoughts lead toward joy? What thoughts produce patience? What thoughts kindle kindness? etc.
Similarly, we must understand what thoughts lead us away from the fruits. We must recognize what thought patterns push us toward being impatient, cruel, bitter, envious, etc. Whenever we recognize that we are trapped in those thoughts, we need to call upon the Spirit to help us walk faithfully.
Yesterday, I was lying in a hospital emergency room being checked out after a car accident. I saw a sign on the wall of someone holding a nurse call button and above it where the words, “Call before you fall.” I commented to my wife that it was a sermon in a sentence. When we find ourselves thinking thoughts contrary to the Spirit we need to call out to the Spirit before we take any steps. If we do not, then we are sure to fall.
Holy Spirit, I quiet my heart before You so that I might become aware of any thoughts contrary to You. I would like to be able to observe my thoughts without reflexively reacting to them. Bring me that awareness. I want enough objectivity in my relationship to my thoughts so that when I stray from you I can see it happening and choose differently. Then I pray that through your power, I am able to disassociate from my mind of the flesh and embrace a mind of the Spirit. When I consider the vast stream of never ending thoughts that rush through my head, bringing them under the control of your Spirit seems nearly impossible. But, I know that all things are possible through You. Thank you for your gift of power, love and self-discipline. I give you my mind. Use it for your purposes. Amen.
P.S. In regards to my car accident–The car was totaled, but I am not. Just got some nasty bruising and swelling from my safety belt doing its job. I want to thank the many friends and family who have offered prayers and words of encouragement.
If you are new to this Ghost Dose series, you may want to read the post, A Protestant Novena, A Dose of the Ghost..