Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:17 NLT
One of the characteristics of living on the East Coast is the terrible noise pollution. Due to the constant exposure of loud sounds, eventually you become desensitized, and actually contribute your fair share by blowing your car horn in disgust on a daily basis. In addition, you habitually talk to the other driver (who is unable to hear your one-sided conversation) and ask them questions such as, “What are you doing?” or tell them to “Hurry up, get out of the way.” As I reflect on the thoughtless behaviors that I once cherished, I ask myself, “How did I acquire these bad habits?”
Even when no one is watching, God knows. The habits we possess are a testimonial of our relationship with God. If we are obedient and hide God’s Word in our hearts, then through the Holy Spirit we become changed and possess the character traits that are Christ-like.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things. Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
We cannot live in a state of pretense by attempting to portray Christian characteristics to others; eventually, the truth of who we really are, is revealed by the “right situation” and we are Exposed.
There is a remedy for ridding ourselves of ungodly character traits: the remedy is to Hide God’s Word in Your Heart. In our life, it means that we must take our time and study the Bible by memorizing and meditating daily on God’s Word. The intention of Bible reading plans are to create the discipline, and structure that it takes to form a daily habit of reading the Bible. Even so, the purpose of studying the Word of God is to know who God is and to show us how we are to live and think.
Studying is a process and learning is progressive. It is imperative that we take our time to read, re-read, memorize and meditate–by deep reflection. We learn by repetition! It is not necessary to race through God’s Word by completing a “Read the Bible in one year or less” plan. Whatever it takes for us to apply the Word to facilitate spiritual growth and riddance of our carnal behaviors, then we must do it.
Galatians 5:16-26 teaches us how to live by the Holy Spirit’s Power. We learn of the Fruit of the Spirit in verses 22-23: The challenge remains for us to commit to God and relinquish our ungodly habits by fervently praying, studying and learning what God requires of us. When we do our part–transformation will occur–and we will no longer have the inclination to follow the desires of our sinful natures.
1. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
2. Study to show thyself approved unto God…first part. 2 Timothy 2:15
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Jesus is coming again; we can prepare ourselves by fostering spiritual growth which requires prayer, studying, and obedience to God.
Prayer for today: Dear God, It is our sinful desires that separate us from you. We ask for your power and your strength as we prepare to study your Word and apply it to our lives. We desire the Fruit of the Spirit; therefore, we ask for wisdom as we acquire knowledge of who you are. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz