So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
I pray. I seek God's help. But there are times when I don't and need to. I need to rely on God's grace throughout the day, yet I stubbornly try to do things on my own. I try to make better food choices (and fail.) I try to not get irritated at other drivers (and fail.) I try to get what is most things important done (and fail.)
I allow compromise, my need to control and the ease of distractions to invade. I'm not strong enough to face it on my own despite what my stubborn self says!
What would happen if I stopped and sought the Spirit's help. He's in me. He's here to be my Counselor (direct me in the way of the Father), to be my Comforter (this world will have troubles) and my Convicter (that twinge in the gut when I'm not focused on the right thing.)
To live by the Spirit isn't just acknowledging He's with me. It's building the relationship to listen to Him, to respond to Him and to seek His grace out.
Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
I heard a little tidbit about this verse and it spoke to me, went seamlessly with the above thought (Go God!) Ephesians is written to believers, who have the Spirit, so that don't need to be filled with the Spirit. What they need to do is allow the Spirit to purify sin and fill them (better written to be filled by the Spirit.) Am I allowing the Spirit to fill me? Do I allow self-control to ooze through me with temptation is strong? Do I allow love (and forgiveness) to fill my inner being when other drivers are clearly out. of. their. minds? Do I quench the Spirit's voice when I focus on things that are seconds (not first priorities?) Do I reach for grace or am I blindly hidden behind the veil that it will be there when I need it, so I don't have to ask?
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:15 (underline mine)
I have grace, that is given. God knows my prayers and needs. I have access to all that I need. It is for my benefit, to remind me that He is the Provider, that I ask. This doesn't mean He withholds until I ask, however the Bible is clear with need to ask. Just like waiting on my daughter to become aware of a need and ask me.
When temptation is strong, do I turn to Him for grace? Do I declare with my mouth "I love You MORE!" I'm getting there. God wants me there. He wants no room to doubt that every aspect of my life is handled by Him through me. My mind may say it's true, but now my actions need to follow through. I need to live it. I need to fully live by the Spirit.
God is so good.