16So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
These 10 verses (Galatians 5:16-26) are among the most direct and powerful in the Bible when it comes to changing how we live day in and day out.
Verses 19-21 clearly list the actions we take that are evil and from Satan. Verses 22 and 23 clearly list the actions we take that are good and from the Holy Spirit (Christians have long called these the fruits of the Spirit). There is no ambiguity or words like “sometimes, usually or mostly” here. These are direct, clear and without exception. Don’t try to soften or complicate these verses to rationalize your desire not to change.
So what do we do? You, in your own strength can do almost nothing. But, for the rest of your life you can come to these verses and the Holy Spirit will make you a drastically better person, and you will live a life worth dying for, if you follow these steps.
- Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to show you the item in the list of evils that he wants you to stop doing.
- Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to show you the item in the list of fruits he wants to replace your evil action with.
- Write them down, and every day ask the Holy Spirit to replace Satan’s fruit, with his Holy fruit.
- Think of the days since you last prayed this prayer and let the Holy Spirit show you times you did both the evil and the good. Ask for forgiveness and thank the Holy Spirit for the victories.
- Think about your day to come and what is in your schedule that might tempt you to bare Satan’s fruit and pray for the Holy Spirit to bring forth his fruit at those times and at the times you don’t foresee.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you when it is time to go back to step 1.
- So what does the Bible have to say about each of Satan’s fruits?
- sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures
- Matthew 5:28 – But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
- 1 John 2:16 – For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
- Colossians 3:5 – So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (emphasis mine)
- Deuteronomy 18:10 – For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft,
- Matthew 5:43 – “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. The Greek word used for hostile is almost associated with the Greek word for enemy.
- Proverbs 20:3 – Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling
- Proverbs 27:4 – Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
- outbursts of anger
- Matthew 5:21-22 – “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’d 22But I say, if you are even angry with someone,e you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,f you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,g you are in danger of the fires of hell.h
- selfish ambition
- James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
- Proverbs 16:28 – A deceitful man stirs dissension, and anyone who gossips separates friends.
- Matthew 12:25 And having knowledge of their thoughts he said to them, Every kingdom having division in itself is made waste, and every town or house having division in itself will come to destruction.
- Proverbs 14:30 The life of the body is a heart at peace, but envy rots the bones.
- drunkenness, wild parties
- Luke 21:34 – “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.
- sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures
- And what about the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- Deuteronomy 28:47-48 “If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you.”
- John 15:11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
- 2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
- Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
- Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
- Hosea 2:19-20 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion,20And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.”
- Philippians 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
- Proverbs 25:28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.