"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
Oh what a sweep of inspiration is this! Were this merely the musings of a man it would read thus -- "Stop fulfilling the lust of the flesh, and then you will walk in the Spirit."
The difference between how we see it, and how God says it, is profound. It's the difference between religion and relationship; between bondage and freedom; between life and death.
Think about it. How many times have you instinctively tried to "clean up your act" so that God would be pleased with you? Or "put yourself together" so that you can be the man or woman you know God wants you to be? That's religion, not relationship. It is a dead-end street.
Years ago I saw an ad for home cleaning services that should've been re-worded before going to press. It said, "Tired of Cleaning Yourself? Let Me Do It!" The image this put in my head was both disturbing and hilarious at the same time. But then it struck me -- maybe that is exactly what the Lord is saying to each one of us!
"Tired of cleaning yourself? Let Me do it!"
The fact is that despite how desperately we try to make it happen, we simply CANNOT clean ourselves. Only God can do it. And do it He will! Indeed, He already has!!
The staggering truth of the Christian Faith is that we are in the process of becoming what God has already made us to be. He who knows the end from the beginning, and declares those things that are not as though they are, has spoken the final word of victory over our lives.
We are seated with Christ in heavenly places, even though we now walk this earth below.
As we walk, God invites us to walk in the Spirit -- and that means we walk in LOVE, with all of its attending fruit. Thus God guides us and influences us into becoming what He has already declared us to be. Brilliant!
So, warts and all, just head out in that direction -- and you will get there from here.