How we experience life is really more about attitude than circumstances. I know, if you’re going through some really tough challenges the previous sentence can sound crazy simplistic. But I just read a passage in the Bible that I’ve read countless times before and it spoke to me in an new way. (It may be an old way, but I have a questionable memory)!
Galatians 5:16-22 opens with the declaration “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” In verse 18 we’re told if we’re living by the Spirit, we’re not under the law. Verses 19-21 list a bunch of sins. I think we have a tendency to think when we hear a list of sins that we’re under law and the Bible is telling us “DON’T”!
But the rest of the chapter describes what it is like to live by the Spirit (joy, peace, etc.). The list of sins are described as acts of the sinful nature. The list for living by the Spirit is called fruit gifted to us and they are largely attitudes. Attitudes that lead us to act a certain way, but the emphasis is on attitude.
I’m going through a Bible study that has me thinking about how my internal life puts my external life into slavery. Reading this passage confirmed how if I don’t protect my internal attitudes and beliefs I’m destined to be a slave to certain strongholds in my life, even though Jesus came to set me free. “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.
He set us free. But when our attitudes run wild, we’re putting ourselves back into chains. If we’re ignoring the power of the Holy Spirit in us and instead, hanging onto lies, we’re choosing slavery over freedom. The attitudes that are the sneakiest are not hate versus love or impurity versus self-control. The attitudes that seem to hook us are unbelief in how God sees us and cares for us, belief that we’re not good enough, He’s not good enough and we better take control.
If I’m going to effect any change in my life; if I’m going to break loose of the destructive things I just can’t say no to; if I’m going to live like a freedwoman — I’m going to have to break the internal agreements I’ve been making with Satan, the one who lies to all of us. Agreements with lies equal attitudes that are not fruit of the Spirit. Attitudes stem from beliefs. What am I believing about God and His life in me that moves me to live like a slave?
I break agreement with:
What I do is a measure of my worth.
Certain struggles in my life will never change.
I can fight my loved ones’ battles for them.
Jesus is not enough.
God is not fully trust worthy.
What lies do you need to break agreement with so you can enjoy the freedom fruit of living by the Spirit?
“But if indeed you are able to be free, make the most of the opportunity. For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. In the same way, the one who was called as a free person is Christ’s slave.” 1 Corinthians 7:21b-22