I don’t know how many times I’ve read Galatians in my life but no matter how many, today I seem to be reading it for the first time with a much deeper understanding. I’ve always marveled that God gave us His Holy Spirit to live within us, but I’ve felt so detached from such a reality. Galatians talks so much about The Holy Spirit and yet it hasn’t been something I could personally relate to as I am beginning to do so now.
Gal. 5:1 says, “In freedom Christ has made us free, stand fast then and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery.” As I read this verse this morning I could sense God telling me that the chains of sinful habits, old beliefs, old thinking patterns are now a choice. Yes, they have ensnared me all of my life, but Christ has made me free and now I know I am free. So, do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. In other words, don’t go back to taking a peek at porn, believing for a moment I’m less of a man, or any of the other old man thinking patterns. This will only lead me back to the yoke of slavery for which I have been set free.
Later in chapter 5 Paul is telling the Galatians about having the Holy Spirit living within them. When this takes place we begin to become more and more like Christ with the “fruit of the Spirit” having His control of us. In verses 22-24 it says the Spirit accomplishes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As I read these, self-control really stood out. It is the strength of The Holy Spirit within us that gives us the ability to not be “ensnared again to a yoke of slavery”. All the lies Satan has wanted us (me) to believe I can stand up to them through the strength of The Holy Spirit “one day at a time, one moment at a time” as the Serenity Prayer says. I use the self-control being instilled in me through believing The Holy Spirit.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to say when someone asks you to describe yourself, “I am loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled”? Well, God is working on these for each of us, including me. Wow, what a God we have and serve!