16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 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.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
My mother-in-law spent the last few weeks teaching our children how to plan, prepare and plant a garden. Much time and energy was spent discovering the best way to cultivate the seeds in order to produce optimum growth. After all, the sole purpose of our garden is to reap a bountiful harvest of fruit and vegetables for the Bullard Pack!
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Now we’re in the waiting phase….
Each day the sun shines down on the seeds buried beneath the soil. If God doesn’t send water, the kids send it through a watering can!
Tick tock, tick tock….hurry up and wait.
Although it may appear as if nothing is happening, God is forming, nurturing and sustaining the seed below ground. This first stage of growth is crucial. If the seed does not receive the water, sun and nutrients it needs in order to survive, it will never sprout or produce a harvest.
God is doing the same thing in me. In the seclusion of our master bedroom, hidden away from the rest of the world, I sit each day, soaking in the light of His Word and life giving water of His Spirit. Just like a seed, I must continually die to myself (my sinful nature) so that He can produce a great harvest for His Kingdom.
The work below the surface is hard- and sometimes painful. No one is there to encourage or praise or acknowledge my process of dying. It is the place where I come face to face with my pride and where I must choose to surrender my wants, my dreams, my rights to the One who formed me, chose me, planted me and sustains me.
Gardening is hard work (which is why I was more than happy to let Grandmom handle this project!) and so is growing in the Lord. But, once you develop the habit of reading His Word and surrendering your will to the power of His Spirit, one day you will be amazed at how He has produced love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in you.