Monday, July 30, 2012

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:17

This morning, my cell phone locked up and wouldn’t do anything. I tried all the usual fixes, to no avail. After more than an hour, it was evident that the only solution was a trip to Verizon. 

You wouldn’t think that would be a big inconvenience. I’m unemployed, the kids are out of school and we didn’t have any big plans for today. And yet, my response was one of irritation that led to having a short temper with my family. 

All this after an early morning that included a run complete with prayer, great worship music and wonder over an incredible sunrise, and quiet time afterward.


I was able to catch myself and prayed to handle the situation better. We navigated the challenge without further incident from me.

But it left me unsettled most of the day. Why is this such a struggle? How can I be so focused on God’s presence one minute and snapping at my kids or husband the next?

This afternoon, I was working on Bible study homework and came upon Galatians 5:17. It stopped me in my tracks. As Paul notes, there is a battle going on inside me every minute of every day. It is the fight between my sinful nature and the Holy Spirit to guide me in ways better than I can choose on my own.

I knew in my heart that I cannot overcome this tendency without full submission to the Spirit’s leading. This is hard stuff. I pray for God to change me. I pray to yield my will to His. But, my flesh is tough. It wants what it wants and it doesn’t like to be led otherwise. And, I have to wonder sometimes, if I really mean it when I say I’m willing to submit.

One of the questions in our study asked us to consider if we are actually bargaining with God, instead of fully submitting to His will.


I have to admit, I have done this. I say I want His will, but when it doesn’t look like what I think it should look like, I squirm and fidget and get testy. Which leads to responses like today.

My prayer was that God would show me those places in my heart where I am holding back. It’s not going to be an easy journey, but if I truly want to walk this walk and live in His will, it’s the only way.

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