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I was supposed to do a mud run yesterday but because my truck broke down and I have been sick for a week and a half I decided it would be best to better prepare myself for a future mud run. However, as the name implies, you get pretty muddy during a mud run. So I had gotten myself pretty excited about getting really muddy and was rather disappointed that I was missing out on that.
As somewhat of a consolation, I talked my mom into walking a muddy horse trail at a local park with my dog yesterday instead. Great idea, not! 😉 My shoes are covered in mud, I had mud halfway up my calves and so did Toby. Even worse: when we were almost out of the wooded area of the trail I looked down and had a tick crawling on my finger. Yuck! The worst part: Toby had not one, but two on him.
Ticks are parasitic; they bite and then live off their “host.” The host can then develop Lyme Disease if the tick was infected with it. Lyme can affect any organ in the body and have a detrimental affect on the tick’s host.
What does this have to do with our relationship with God?
Just as ticks may “seem” harmless; we know they’re not because they can carry a disease that could seriously harm our bodies. Some of these sins are more obviously harmful than others, but some may not seem so blatantly harmful; but they are detrimental. They, just like a tick, will “bite” and continue to swell as long as you allow them to have that power. Things like envy, anger, jealousy, strife, and idolatry may not seem like sin at first because they do not immediately take over your life. However, once you allow these sins into your life, the devil will continually take more and more of your attention from God by using these things. Sin is parasitic!
If you watch out for spiritual “ticks” constantly, you will be able to, through the Holy Spirit, get rid of that sin before it overtakes your life. Don’t even let the “tick” bite.
“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6 NIV).
Live Out Truth, Not Lies
The devil wants you to live a sinful life because he is a liar, he wants you to go against God’s will for your life and give in to sin. Don’t; trust that God knows best and is Truth.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:15 NIV).
Right after Paul explained what not to do, he tells the church in Galatia what kind of behaviors the Holy Spirit produces; not by our power, but His. When we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, it’s not only about Him saving us, it’s also about Him changing us. Jesus came not only to save us but to change us. He left so that the Holy Spirit could come and change us. A Spirit-filled life is the only way to live a full and abundant life; the life Jesus came to give.
“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)
The fruit of the spirit indicates a Spirit-filled individual. Not one of us can constantly maintain those qualities without the help of the Holy Spirit. We will all still fail, but as we grow in our relationship with the Lord, the fruit of the Spirit should be evident.
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Don’t Follow Your Heart