How Do We Do It?

In my previous post I talked about how I cannot change myself. My memorizing scripture, being in a fellowship of believers, and time in prayer will not make a difference if I try to do it myself. Many times in my life I have been faced with a temptation and then I quote a scripture, or 2 or 3, and then I go ahead and give into it. Then I just feel worse. This is because I trust in myself. There is nor formula I can do that will solve things. Then there is this verse

Galatians 5:16
But this I say to you, walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

When I read this, I realized Christ set me free from the trap of formulism. Then I started looking for how to walk in the Spirit. There must be a formula for it. I fell back into what I had just been delivered from. Is walking in the spirit simply trusting Him? Is that all there is to it? Maybe. Actually, walking in the spirit and trying to do it myself look much the same. Both are characterized by discipline, bible study, prayer, fellowship, fasting, and etc. But the difference is the motive. This is not a call to say we don't need to worry about these things. Because we do. But I don't do them because I think they will help me stop sinning. I do them because I know they will make me closer to God, and he is the only one who can help me. It seems like we would think this anyways, but we don't. I do these things because I want to find out more about who God is. As I find out more about Him, He helps me to walk in His spirit. Finding out who He is transforms my mind. My simply praying or reading the bible will not change my heart. Knowing Him does.

Paul does not ever say how to walk in the spirit. But he does give us the fruit. I know a great many deal of people who read their Bible all the time, lead prayer groups, teach Sunday school, or are pastors, and show no fruit of the spirit. So the test seems to be this: Am I displaying love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control? Do I pray that He would give me the strength to change, or that He would change me?

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