But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. - Galatians 5:16
Many of us struggle through our days because we do not feel the presence of the Spirit, but He is there - He is with us at all times. We don't always feel the Spirit because we forfeit His presence with our choices. We cannot expect to be filled with the peace that the Spirit brings when we choose to act in accordance with the world or the way our flesh desires,
We’ve learned we grieve the Spirit when we do things the Spirit doesn't want us to do. To grieve is to feel deep pain or sorrow. When I ponder that I bring deep pain or sorrow to the spirit of God, I am filled with sadness. But the reality is that I grieve the Spirit all the time. When I place myself over others, or my agenda over His, when my idols take precedence over Him, like my children or my job, when I covet or do not honor Him with my words, when I do anything I know that is disobedient to Him, I grieve the Spirit. He's always there, but when He is grieving, it is more difficult to hear His voice.
When His Spirit is quiet inside of me, I think the fruit I notice absent the most is peace. I know I’m struggling when my peace is disrupted, when chaos has taken over calm, when emotions run high, when conflict is back. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. When the Spirit is strong in me, I am at peace.
Our God is a god of peace. The whole story of redemption, the death and resurrection of Jesus, is God's plan to bring about peace - between man and himself, and between man and man. As the children of God, we are to be peacemakers - we must seek peace within ourselves and with others in everything we do. Seeking peace within ourselves starts with seeking out the places where fear and anxiety live within our hearts. Peace is not the absence of pain and grief in our lives, it is the absence of fear and turmoil. The only way to rid my heart of fear and turmoil is to allow His Spirit to fill me.
I want to live a life for Christ. I want the people who know me to see His beauty and His light shine from me, especially those who don't know Him yet. But He doesn’t radiate when I grieve Him. Confessing my sin that grieves His Spirit, and asking Him to fill me up again.
Press on ~ you are loved
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