I am a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. Such a sinner that sometimes I can be so lost in my sinfulness that I forget that God desires other things for me. Tonight, as I read through Galatians’ 5, where Paul describes the desires of the sinful nature, I underlined all the desires I have acted on or fell victim to in the past week. The following were underlined – impurity, idolatry, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, and envy. Wow. Talk about being convicted of sin. I so largely fall short of perfection. It would be so easy to let my thoughts stop here, feel guilty, hopeless and wonder how God is ever going to use me. Yes, I am a sinner, and I frequently chose my fleshly desires over the life Jesus died for me to have. I am not proud to admit this, but it is the reality of this world and a reality of my imperfection. Thankfully, the message of Galatians 5 is not our utter sinfulness; it’s the freedom we have from sin in Christ.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. (Galatians 5:24 NLT)
The beautiful thing about having a Savior is that He died for my sin. With my sin, He took the passions and desires of my sinful nature with Him. The passions and desires were not just put to a graceful death, they, like Jesus, were brutally killed. I so often forget that my ties to my sin have been crucified. I no longer have to live in slavery to my sinful desires. I no longer have to live in slave to impurity, idolatry, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissention, division or envy. Instead, I get to live in the freedom of the Spirit, bearing fruit as a result. The fruit of the Spirit is not of me, it’s not something I can manufacture by obeying the law or striving to be a good person – it comes from submitting to the Lord and walking in the Spirit. For me, it’s a constant decision. Some moments my flesh feels so strong that I cannot possibly overcome the sinful desire to be jealous or fight with someone else, but in these moments, I’m forgetting the power I have because I belong to Jesus. Because I am a daughter of God, I have the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and the same power that performed miracles; it lives in me! It is what fights my sinful desires. The question for me becomes, do I acknowledge this, or do I live believing the lies that I’m still a slave and not a beloved daughter with an inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:4)? In this power and in this inheritance is freedom. Freedom in my brokenness.