What if we really did have the Spirit of the Living God residing inside? What if the inheritance of Heaven, the Heaven, was really ours?
Would that change things?
I’ve been pondering the writings of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians lately, and at the end of Chapter 4 he calls us “Children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). He says we are free and as part of the promise God made to Abraham, we are heirs with Christ. The Christ. He goes on to say that we live by the Spirit, the fruit of which is far beyond anything we can muster up in our human flesh.
So I ask again, if the inheritance of The Spirit is ours, what would change? Could it really be freedom to live a holy life?
I sat with my hair stylist today as she talked about some trials she’s going through in a relationship. It reminded me a lot of my own. I got a phone call not too long ago about a set-back a friend had had and now finds paychecks too small and bills too big. We have other friends who mourn for their wayward children, and family members who’d rather argue, or better yet—drown their arguments. There’s the awful news reel and worse, the annoying late night jokes. People bicker over world peace, stress about nuclear war, and ponder to death about fulfillment.
This life, this world, it isn’t free. Those things listed above feel heavy and overwhelming. So we numb it up and shrug it off declaring “that’s just the way it is these days”. A world of hatred, discord, jealousy, selfish ambition… envy, dissension… infighting – that’s just the way it is. Really?
I guess I’m looking for more.
When I read Paul’s words in Galatians chapter 5, I exhaled. There, in verse 22, he detailed a life that I long for, a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and yes- also of self-control. Those things feel free, like a breeze caressing the leaves on an aspen tree.
Then the sunlight flickered off the perfect leaf; that life, the freedom life, it is already mine to live. The Spirit of the Living God resides in me. Those things exist within my world, as a gift. I simply have to utilize them.
Living this life of freedom is my choice. It’s your choice too. It is already an inheritance we possess, it’s our choice to use. For example, when the relationship strains—we can choose peace. Easier said than done, I know. But really peace comes from the seeds of forgiveness, the seeds of contentment, all watered by grace. We can give those things into our relationships because Jesus already gave them to us. Suffering a job loss, gives yet another choice: react in fear or stand in faith. You can crumble under the weight of the unknown, or look higher and with a calm assurance ready yourself for whats next.
Choose joy, it’s already within you. Choose peace, the Spirit of the Living God has already adorned you with it. Someone slings an accusation? Again, you can choose to wall up with defenses or lay down the itch of pride and selfish ambition and offer humbled grace just like what’s already been given.
These choices are lighter, freer. Paul calls it eternal life, real life. You and me, we are children of promise through faith, for freedom’s sake.