He Leads You Down the Paths of Righteousness
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
To live by the Spirit is to live by the love of God. The Spirit pours the love of God into your heart (Romans 5:5). He strengthens you in your inner being with the power to grasp how high, how deep, how long, and how wide the love of God is (Ephesians 3:16-19). He compels you to express his love to others. This is the Sunday life. As Paul said, this is what counts–“faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).
Living by the Spirit frees you from gratifying the desires of the flesh. It is important to understand this distinction. So many well-intentioned believers spend a lifetime trying to overcome sin in their lives. They wake up each morning with this prayer on their lips: “Lord, please help me not sin today.” At the end of the day, they look back only to see their prayer went unanswered. They have their focus in the wrong place. Here is a more meaningful and practical prayer: “Lord, teach me to abide in you and to follow the leading of your Spirit in my life.”
You can count on this–God’s Spirit will never lead you into sin. He leads you into all truth. He leads you down the paths of righteousness. He leads you to love and serve others. This life of faith is simply ordering everything that you are and do around the work of God’s Spirit in your life. Peter put it this way:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Living by the Spirit is trusting God to complete the work he began in you. You can count on him to complete this task even though you don’t always cooperate. Thank God for this truth and begin to live in dependence on him.