“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith” (Galatians 6:1-10, NLT).

Anyone who struggles with being overweight has started a diet only to quit in a matter of days. You start of so committed in your mind, you’re eager and ready to start, but gradually with each passing day your enthusiasm gets depleted. This very thing happens spiritually in our overall Christian life. We recommit, get excited, then gradually become discouraged. That is what Paul addressed in your passage today. Paul humbly instructs us to not tire of doing good, to not give up. And, he instructs us to live in a way that pleases the Spirit.

How is This Done?
What are some of the fruits of living a life dedicated to pleasing the Spirit? For one, it shows up in us doing good to everyone, and especially fellow believers (see verses 9-10 above). The fruit can be a struggle as well. It’s a demanding life, it is selfless, it is the lifestyle of Calvary; we should not be shocked at those times when it’s hard. During the difficulties we’ve got to continue doing good and living to please the Spirit, if not we will end up living for ourselves and trying to please the flesh.

Looking back one chapter, what are some of the things we might fall for, things that may lead us astray? Living to please the flesh can result in open rebellion (Galatians 5:19-21, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy,drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God)” (NLT).

Not only is open rebellion something to be cautious of, outward religion can be just as damning. This is seen in Galatians 5:1-6, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us” (NLT).

So, how do we “keep on keeping on?” Living to please the Spirit, living by and through the Spirit. This is how we do it, this is how we change, it is all done by the Holy Spirit. In fact, that is Paul’s theme all throughout chapters 5 and 6 of Galatians.

When the Cross of Christ is the focus of our lives that is how we know we are not focused on pleasing the flesh. Only by grace through faith in a crucified and resurrected Jesus can we be accepted before God, and only through the Holy Spirit’s power are we able to persevere in that faith. We should empty ourselves before the throne daily asking for strength to live a life aimed at pleasing the Spirit.

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