Walking in the Holy SpiritTrying to battle sin on our own strength during Lent can leave us exhausted. Remember that righteousness is not from our own efforts, but a fruit that the Spirit produces in us.
From an Africa Study Bible touch point:
Marius Victorinus (c. AD 300–370) was born in Africa. He became a philosopherand an important teacher of rhetoric in Rome. He wrote:
The essence of living the Christian life is to think according to the Spirit, to live according to the Spirit, to believe according to the Spirit, and to have nothing of the flesh in one’s mind and actions and life. That means that you do not put your hope in the flesh. “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.” If you do so, “you will not be doing what your sinful nature craves… Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
Slowly read again the scripture for today. Take a piece of paper and on one side list the consequences of a sinful nature (verses 19-21) on the other side list the results of a life led by the Holy Spirit (verses 22-23). Prayerfully ask God to show you where you are in your life today. Ask God to help you to produce more and more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever (5:17 Or you do not do what you want.)
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.