First Step, Second Step
Bible Reading: Galatians 5:16-18
The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. Galatians 5:17
Walked lately? Of course you have. You've probably walked a lot this week. You walk from your bed to the bathroom in the morning. You walk from class to class in school. You walk from the television to the refrigerator. You walk upstairs, you walk downstairs, you walk outside, you walk inside.
There was a time, however, when you couldn’t walk.
You probably don’t remember, but you didn’t even crawl for the first few months of your life. One day you pulled yourself up in your crib or playpen and stood, hanging on to the sides. Then one day you took your first step. Then a second step. Before long, you were walking like a pro!
Making right choices is not much different. The first step is knowing right from wrong. A lot of people never even make it to this first step, and many others never progress beyond it. But you didn’t stop walking after your first step, and you shouldn’t stop after taking the first step in knowing right from wrong either.
The second step—and this is where a whole lot of people fall flat on their faces—is doing right. The problem is, of course, that doing what’s right is sometimes hard. More than likely, we want to do wrong more than right. Read again (above) how Paul put it in Galatians 5:17.
Does that sound like you? You may know what’s right, but doing it sure is a lot harder!
So how are you supposed to make right choices when it seems so much easier to do whatever comes naturally (which usually is the wrong choice)? Paul gives us the answer:
“Live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. [W]hen the Holy Spirit controls [your life], he will produce this kind of fruit... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:16, 22-23).
Letting the Holy Spirit control your life is the only sure way to do the right thing. That will mean submitting to his control every day, committing yourself to follow his leading, and then trying to stay in touch with him through prayer and obedience all through the day. Then you won’t have to try to do the right thing; he’ll do it for you.
REFLECT: Do you struggle most with knowing what’s right or with doing what’s right? Can you do what’s right if you don’t know what’s right? Can you know what’s right and still do wrong?
PRAY: “Dear God, I submit to your Holy Spirit’s control, and I commit to following you throughout this day. Help me to trust you every time I’m faced with a choice between right and wrong. Thank you for the wisdom and the strength to do what’s right.”
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