AT WAR WITH MYSELF

I am at war with my self. There are two forces at work within me; both determined to plant their flag and claim victory over me. There are right and wrong reasons to be God’s servant. Paul taught the Galatians about the difference between flesh motivation and Spirit motivation.



Galatians 5:
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 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. 


Paul continues by listing some of the evil characteristics of those who serve out of fleshly interest. The Message Bible describes the next passage of verses this way:


Galatians 5:
19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.


God’s Family is no place for unloving, self-interest. It’s a sad day when someone must be removed or brought low for being more abusive than useful. Although we all possess the capacity for unhealthy motivation, a surrendered person can be transformed into a good and faithful servant. It is God’s Spirit that causes good to come through us.


Galatians 5:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 



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