When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21 (New Living Translation)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! –Galatians 5:22-23.
I discovered recently that gardening is no easy feat! It might even be considered by some as physical exercise. Needless to say, that after a long arduous day of pulling weeds, pouring mulch, and plowing the flower bed I was spent! However, my spirit was pleased to imagine the fresh produce that would soon be coming after planting seeds. Do we have fresh produce in our lives? Does our spirit resemble the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces mentioned above?
How can we truly say that we worship and have a relationship with God if our lives resemble our sinful desires i.e. the works of the flesh? For Jesus Christ once told us what God is like. He said, “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.” –John 4:24 God’s Spirit is Holy and the Bible says “but as he who called you is Holy, you also be Holy in all your conduct. Since it is written, you shall be Holy, for I am Holy.”–1 Peter 1:15-16. My dear friends following the desires of your sinful nature are bondage. You’re not free if that’s your lifestyle. “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” –Galatians 5:24 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” –Galatians 5:1
A yoke is a wooden bar that allowed two (or more) draft animals to be coupled (yoked) so that they might effectively work together. The Bible frequently uses the word ‘yoke’ metaphorically to refer to work or bondage. However, it could also be associated with divine judgment. Sin was the reoccuring cause of Jerusalem miseries and the complaint they made toward God of their calamities. “He wove my sins into ropes to hitch me to a yoke of captivity. The Lord sapped my strength and turned me over to my enemies; I am helpless in their hands. – Lamentations 1:14 “An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” –Proverbs 5:22-23
When we live in the flesh, i.e. by our sinful nature, we invite death into our lives, primarily spiritually. We are rendered useless to give God glory not yoked for service, but for penance, tied neck and heels together. I’m so glad there is a yoke we can put on! It is one that is eternal! One that gives our souls rest! For Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world said to us, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” –Matthew 11:29-30
Stick to Jesus! Cling to him! He will produce in your heart and in your spirit that fresh produce that can fellowship with God and with His People as we wait to be led into the Kingdom of God. Amen
Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.
Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.