Bible Reading: Galatians 5
Growing up, I imagined the Holy Spirit was an invisible man in white who was always at war with the other invisible guy- the devil in black. Whenever I wanted to do something wrong, like lie to my mum, I would imagine the man in white whispering ‘all liars will perish in the lake of fire’ while the man in black would say, ‘tell the lie, if not she will beat you’. The guy in black often won, but my mum would still beat me when she eventually found out. That child perspective of the Holy Spirit; of good and bad, and of right and wrong always at loggerheads within us, is an image that many of us grow into.
Maybe not literally in that way, but Paul in our reading today, shows us that although there are two contenders for the captaincy of our lives, there is just one seat and that seat can have just one control.
These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? Galatians 5:17 MSG
We must constantly remind ourselves as Christians that the direction that our lives take is solely determined by who we give the control of our lives to. Paul clearly encourages us to live by the control of the Holy Spirit. In our reading today, he demonstrates some expressions of the Holy Spirit that God desires for us to walk conscious of:
He is the Spirit of Freedom
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV
When the Holy Spirit is the one in control, we are brought to live a life of freedom from the bondage of our past. He frees us from the guilt and shame that come with captain sin. We now have free access to God and all the perks that come with our salvation through Jesus Christ.
He is the Spirit of Faith and Hope
For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. Galatians 5:5
We are not just left to fantasize about attaining a faraway life of righteousness but rather, the Holy Spirit gives us an assurance of righteousness by faith and of our eternal hope in Jesus. Our lives are now ruled by faith, not by the physical things of whether or not we are circumcised or meet particular worldly physical standards.
He is the Spirit of Love
The Holy Spirit births love in our heart, which transforms us on the inside and guides our actions as Christians.
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Romans 13:9
We only get to express genuine love from our hearts because the Holy Spirit helps us to.
The expression of the Holy Spirit in our heart is a wholesome fruit which manifests in our everyday living. We don’t get to choose the part of the fruit we want to express. We can’t say we have the Joy of the Holy Spirit and not express Self Control.
As we learn to yield and give ourselves more and more to the Holy Spirit, He produces His beautiful nature in us in all its expressions. We must allow the Holy Spirit be the captain with the control. We must allow him work a wholesomeness of this fruit in our hearts.
Through the everyday God-steps that we take and the God-directions that we embrace we are progressively coming into the fullness that God invites us to. Yet, not by our power but by the working of God’s Spirit in us!
Something to pray
Thank you, God, for the gift of the Holy Spirit I my life. Holy Spirit, I welcome you. I pray that from now on, you will take the control and direct my heart in the paths of true love, life and freedom. Amen.
Mr. Oluwadunsin Olorunfemi
Mr Olorunfemi serves as Team lead for Sycamore Worship