So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. ~~ Galatians 5:16-17 NIV
Busyness consumed me through June. This past week, I spent my time “catching up” around the house. I noticed with a little bit of neglect that all areas of my home became out-of-control.
I lived in maintenance mode. The mode where I ensured we had something to eat, some clean dishes to eat off of, and clean clothes to wear (if you could find what you wanted in the clean laundry pile in the spare room). Areas that slid were the weekly sheet changes, bathroom scrubbing, sweeping, mopping, dusting, and vacuuming. I think you get the idea. I lost my groove and the state of my home went into decay. What I realized though, it did not take any effort to get in that condition.
But cleaning and returning it to a level of cleanliness that we’re accustomed to living, took effort. Last week when I went without internet for a few days, I put in some effort to work on cleaning my house. Maybe there was a reason I went two days without service. Then I had to discipline myself to stay off the computer and tend to the needs of my home. It took all Sunday afternoon to sort through the laundry pile, folding, ironing and putting away clothes. But since I’ve cleaned and caught up, a clean home feels refreshing.
As I worked, I thought about how it relates to my spiritual life. With neglect and no effort, sin can creep in. It takes effort to live by the Spirit. The choices have to be intentional just as making the bed each day is intentional.
Choosing to forgive instead of taking an offense must be the choice I make. How much easier it would be to take an offense, like taking the clothes out of the dryer and piling them up in the spare room. It would keep growing until I confronted it.
How much easier it is to entertain anxious thoughts instead of casting out thoughts that do not line up with God’s word. It takes effort to ponder on thoughts that are lovely and praiseworthy, but worth the effort for a sane mind. Just as it is worth the effort to sweep the tile floors, so I can feel the coolness of them on my bare feet without feeling like I’m out on a dirt road.
Living according to the sinful nature requires no effort, just as not cleaning house does not take any effort. But living a life by the Spirit requires intentional choices, just like cleaning must be intentional. Let’s be intentional and choose to live by the Spirit and keep our house clean!Engrafted by His Grace--