READ : Galatians 5:16-26
If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. (v. 25)
One of my grandmother’s favorite expressions was, “We’re not in heaven yet.” She was right. We shouldn’t be surprised when bad things happen in this world. Satan is alive and active. In the meantime, life is as Paul described it in verse 17: the flesh and the Spirit are opposed to one another, the former preventing us from doing what we want.
As long as we are “in the flesh” there will always be a war waging within us. But for the believer, the Spirit will dominate and produce within us the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
In 1838, on the evening of the last day before slavery was abolished in Jamaica, a large group of slaves gathered on a beach. A huge coffin was placed on the beach next to a hole. They placed chains, whips, leg-irons and other symbols of slavery into the coffin. At midnight the box was lowered into the hole. Their slavery was over, but things weren’t all of a sudden perfect. Racial tensions still remained. Likewise, as Christians our slavery to sin is over, but we still struggle with it, and it will be that way until we get to heaven.
Lord Jesus, until we get to heaven, please strengthen us by your Spirit in our struggle here on earth. Amen.