Devotion #43

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Galatians 5:16-17 ESV

Many of us struggle through our days because we do not feel the presence of the Spirit, but He is there—He is with us at all times. We don’t always recognize the Spirit because sometimes we forfeit His presence with our actions. We choose to quiet the Spirit when we act in accordance with the world or the way our flesh desires. 

What are those things that forfeit the Spirit? Scripture tells us we will not be filled with the Holy Spirit if we grieve Him. We grieve the Spirit when we do things the Spirit doesn’t want us to do. In other words we grieve the Spirit when we commit a sin. When we consciously choose to sin, we quiet the Spirit because He is grieving our choice. Think about grief for a moment…it is deep pain or sorrow. It is a pain that is overwhelming. When I ponder that I bring deep pain or sorrow to the Spirit of God with my choices, I am filled with sadness. But the reality is that I do it every time I sin. 

When I place myself over my spouse, or my agenda over His, when the things that I want take precedence over Him, when I covet what others have or I do not honor Him with my words, when I refuse to forgive, when I am consumed with anxiety, when I use harsh words, when I do anything I know that is disobedient to Him, I grieve the Spirit. He’s always there, but when He is grieving, it is more difficult to hear His voice. When it’s difficult to hear His voice, we see less and less fruit of the Spirit in our lives—less love, less joy, less peace. 

When we are feeling less peace and joy in our marriages, we need to pause a moment and ask ourselves where we are grieving the Spirit. Where are we choosing to sin? Perhaps we are choosing to gossip about their frustrating little habits, or perhaps we are choosing to continue a flirtatious relationship with a co-worker. Maybe we are choosing to deceive our spouse, or maybe we are choosing to hang on to our anger and our hurt. When we sin, we literally turn the volume of the Spirit down. We can’t hear the promptings to be gentle or kind, we can’t hear the suggestions to serve them or to be patient, we can’t see the ways we should be loving them. We only see their faults and we grow increasingly frustrated with who they are. All the beautiful things that Christ has planned for our marriage is pushed to the background, and we experience the struggle of doing it on our own. 

But the best part of His plan is that when we own our wrongs, when we confess our sin, the Spirit is strengthened and can step to the foreground again. If you want to breathe life back into your marriage, take some time alone with God today and ask Him to reveal where you have fallen short of His glory, where you need to confess your sin. Lay it down and let Him break you over it, then leave it at His feet. 

I want to live a life for Christ. I want my husband to see His beauty and His light shine from me. I want the people who don’t know Him yet to see His work in my marriage. So, when I recognize my sin, I must confess it in order to restore the Spirit in me. Only then will I demonstrate His love, His joy, and His peace in my marriage and to those who are watching. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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