Thursday, February 09, 2006

holding on for dear life

When I look around these days, I see so many people struggling. Trying to make relationships work, trying to overcome private addictions, trying to find their way through bouts of depression, and on and on. They don’t look like they are on top of things. In fact, they look more like they are just holding on for dear life. What are they holding on to?

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gal. 5:19-22

We have been talking about God’s life and having His life inside of us. Above is a description of what life looks like devoid of God’s life and another picture of someone who has allowed God’s life to fill them. Jesus described us as branches in relationship to a vine, he being the vine. He said to remain connected to Him so that the life that is in Him can flow into me.

When I reject/neglect this vital union, my sinful nature is all I have to hold on to. I crave things that are bad for my health. I will tend to feed on things that satisfy my fallen nature. In this cycle of slow death, my life will only produce destructive things like those mentioned above. The things that ruin marriages and friendships-things that hurt careers and crush dreams-things that block my entrance into God’s life.

If I accept the life of Jesus, and I seek to remain truly connected to Him, he fills me with His life. I become full to the point that His life is flowing out of me. The Bible calls this the "fruit of the Spirit". Through our ever deepening relationship, Jesus gives me eveything I need to face life and be refreshing to others. But I must remain connected.

All around us people are starving spiritually. They are malnourished and need for us to bear fruit. They need for us to be filled with things like love, joy, patience, etc...or they may never experience the life of God. God the gardener uses His connected branches to offer His life to the world.

I’ve got a question. When life squeezes, what comes out of you? Do you like what you see? Do your closests friends like what they see? Do you want to be filled with God’s life? Move toward Him even now. Ask Him to take over your life. Spend time with Him right now. Close your eyes and open your heart and invite Him to fill you with His presence. Ask His Spirit to fill your spirit. If you ask in faith He will fill you.

If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." Luke 11:13

May you be filled with God’s life today.

Holding on to Him for the dearest of life,

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