Monday, According to the Spirit


Today was one of those mornings where I looked up from my quiet time to see my toddler rubbing chapstick in his hair (let's overlook the fact that I made a rookie move and handed it to him minutes earlier).  It was a morning to down coffee as quickly as possible, because even though the baby that was up all night was now sleeping soundly, I did not fare so well.  It was a morning of children with low fevers and turning on Sesame Street earlier than I planned.  But I was desperate to hear God's truth and to find the peaceful relief found in His word.

Flip to Romans.  Yes, I can find the gospel in Romans.  Romans 8.

I was looking for the same old refreshing message...I am not condemned.  Therefore, no guilt chapstick giving, Sesame Street mom!  But this was not the message the Lord wanted to share with me for Monday.  Instead I hovered over verse 5, pondering anew its treasures:

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit."  ESV

Scribbling on the back of my to-do list, I started writing...What does it really mean to live "according to" the Spirit?  It's always those little transitional words and phrases that give meaning to the big concepts I long to embrace.

Agree - Conform - Depend
"According to" (the phrase) has three applicable meanings:  in agreement with or in accord with a judgement or person, in conformity with something, or depending on a thing or person

The lightbulbs start to flicker.

A person who lives according to the Spirit...
Agrees with the Spirit:  The Spirit at work in me gives me the ability to live and be motivated in a way that affirms God's goodness and the truth of His word.
Conforms to the Spirit:  The Spirit at work in me gives me the ability to align my will and my actions in a way that displays the gospel and the glory of God.
Depends on the Spirit:  The Spirit at work in me gives me the ability to rest not in my own good works, but in the power of God to will and to do every good thing because of His grace.

Strength for the day
Instead of snapping at my toddler in my frustration, according to the Spirit, I can respond in patience and love with correction.
Instead of wallowing in the pile of cereal on the carpet, according to the Spirit, I can diligently pick it up and be thankful for children who spill and make messes.
Instead of feeling defeated before my first cup of coffee, according to the Spirit, I can trust God's sovereign plan and good purposes for my day.

The Holy Spirit gives real power for my life and my day.  The message of the gospel is not just that I  have escaped condemnation, but that through the blood of the Lamb, I have access to the same grace that gave Jesus the ability to serve and love God.

With that, I can go forward and live abundantly on this Monday - already full of toys, sickness, messes, and overflowing to-do lists.

How do you plan to live according to the Spirit today?


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