You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. Matthew 23:26
Have you ever worked with someone who was a “disgruntled employee?” They are easily identified by the constant complaints and their negative feedback to every situation. The reality is that the knowledge we possess and the way we react to our circumstances determines whether or not we can move forward or continue in our present dilemma with a negative mindset.
There are many individuals who strive to obtain pleasing characteristics, yet they continually fail. It is the method they have chosen that prevents them from reaching their goal. Relying on previous knowledge results in stagnation–staying in the same place; therefore personal growth is not possible.
Seeking new knowledge and applying it to your life results in replacing old habits and behaviors, and moving forward in the process of maturing mentally and spiritually.
Would you drink from a cup that was clean on the outside and had specks of dirt on the inside? Yet we desire to change without the spiritual cleansing that is necessary to align our character with God’s requirements.
We often attempt to justify our disobedience by taking advantage of God’s grace and mercy. Our mindset is that we will pursue our own desires because God understands that we will fail or all that is necessary is to continually ask for repentance.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who focused on the outward appearance as opposed to possessing a clean heart. We are unable to present ourselves to God with a spirit of self-will and disobedience, and expect to produce Fruit.
The first step to obtaining the FRUIT of the SPIRIT is to possess genuine obedience to God: Genuine obedience occurs naturally and spontaneously in the Christian life when we truly love God.
Obedience produces the desire to please God willingly. When we obey His commandments and instructions for our lives, our character and our desires will be transformed and we will possess all that God requires of us.
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Challenge for today: Identify the desires, habits, behaviors, and actions which prevent you from obeying God.
Prayer for today: Dear God, We have been disobedient through self-seeking behaviors. Please forgive us for not loving you as we should. As we continue to seek knowledge from your Word, we ask you to transform our lives as you will have us to be. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz