Bible Reading: Galatians 5:16-17
Live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16
Suppose you’re dying to get to Disneyland. You’ve figured out how to reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel—don’t try this anywhere but in your imagination—so you hit the road. In the tangled mess of freeways known as Los Angeles, you see a sign that says “Disneyland Next Exit.” The sign looks real. It’s standard government issue. But the exit isn’t anywhere near where you thought it would be, and you’re sure you know a quicker way to the happiest place on earth. You have two choices—which get you two very different results.
• Option One: Trust the sign and stay on the route. And here’s what happens: As you follow the marked route—even though it goes against your instincts—you ride past fantastic new sights you never could have found on your own. And you shoot straight into the park’s front gate.
• Option Two: Ignore the sign and take your own shortcut. And here’s that result: The shortcut that looked smart at the start takes you farther and farther from your happy destination, and in the end your car plunges over one of those unfinished freeway overpasses so famous in movies.
While you may not be able to hop in the car and drive to Disneyland, at least not for a couple of years, you face similar choices almost as often as you breathe.
Inside each of us is “sinful nature,” a drive or desire or wish to do wrong. It’s the instinct that makes taking shortcuts sound smart. But as Christians there’s a battle raging in our heart as we decide which way to turn, because we also have the Holy Spirit living in us. He’s the one urging us to stick to God’s paths and do right.
Here’s a guarantee: When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, you wind up on roads that won’t get you where you want to go. You travel farther and farther from your destination—and you wind up in a place called destruction. But listening to the Spirit brings benefits you can’t foresee. It puts you on the route to the destination of your dreams (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:19-23).
Can you see it? Every choice you face puts you at a fork in the road. You can follow the way of the Holy Spirit—or the way of sinful nature. Which road would you rather take?
TALK: What good results come when you follow the Spirit? Does that mean obeying the Spirit is easier? Explain your answer.
PRAY: God, thanks for giving us your Spirit to guide us. We trust that you know how to get us to good places.
ACT: You can hear what the Spirit is saying by learning from God’s Word. Are you facing a choice where you feel torn between good and bad? Get some guidance and encouragement by seeing what the Bible says about your struggle.