Tim Keller | January 7, 1990
Galatians 5:16-26 talks about the inner battle between human mistakes and God’s guidance. It encourages us to follow the Spirit and stay away from wrong behaviors. It speaks about love, happiness, and self-control as gifts from the Spirit. It emphasizes spiritual growth, obedience, and dealing with hardships. The verse also compares living by rules with living in God’s love, and cautions us against seeking approval from others while promoting self-acceptance and humbleness.
1. Understand that both motives usually exist together
In our spiritual journey, human tendencies and God’s Spirit often clash, even after we have embraced faith. Even though our good actions might be affected by human weaknesses, God’s love sees them as good because of our faith. Being led by the Spirit means continuously working on our motives, discarding the wrong ones, and adopting the right ones. Feelings of fear and worry often indicate self-pride and remaining false idols.
2. Pay attention to what your sinful nature is whispering in your heart
Feelings of shame and negative thoughts often come from fear and worry, while anger could indicate forgetting God’s unchanging love through Jesus. It’s important to ask for forgiveness and cleansing from these negative motives, which belong to our old life. Change is possible through the Spirit’s work, which brings God’s Word alive in us.
3. Express the motives of the Spirit nature
As believers, we are God’s children, not slaves bound by rules. This truth should direct our everyday actions. Reading God’s Word can help us develop the fruit of the Spirit like love, wisdom, and kindness. These gifts come from spending time with God and humbling ourselves before Him. It’s crucial to live in the Spirit, doing good because we love God, not for approval. We should focus on growing spiritually, recognizing areas that need improvement, and constantly resisting wrong desires.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer