“The Life in the Spirit”
by Kerry Kennedy

It is hard to tell an audience of people who haven’t traveled throughout life with me how my life has been changed, but it indeed has.

Growing up in a Christian environment is obviously one of the greatest blessings that a person can enjoy. I was raised in a very strong Christian home, surrounded by believers on every side. I regularly attended a Bible believing church and was educated at Des Moines Christian School. This all amounted to many great influences in my life, a strong regard for morals, and a lot of knowledge about how a Christian should behave.

Being the typical first-born child, I have always been eager to please. This mentality has brought about both positive and negative consequences. I believe one of the negatives has been a desperate attempt to keep up with the Jones’s in the spiritual race to be the best Christian I could be (compared to other Christians).

The problem with this is that my heart could be left far behind while my knowledge and outward behavior were running wild.

When Galyn posted the acts of the flesh contrasted with the fruit of the Spirit and told us that we couldn’t work for the fruit of the Spirit and we couldn’t follow any list of good behaviors that would guarantee us the fruit of the Spirit, I actually felt a little panicky. My upbringing had been filled with sermons about not gossiping, not falling into temptation, not leaving people out who were different, not spending money foolishly, etc. What was I to do with a teaching that gave me nothing to do?

“But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:5-6)

This verse has led me to a better way. God has taken me out of a mentality that fears not being good enough and thrives on doing the job of a Christian successfully. Instead, God has eased my mind by showing me that it really is okay to come just as I am to Him, to wait on Him to produce the life of the Spirit in me, and to live an honest life before Him and those around me. In short, it is the life that can be lived because of a God who truly loves me and who calls me to love.

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do no tuse your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love.” (5:13)

Not only does this ease my mind, but it drives deep into my soul the absolute necessity of living in the Spirit. I have no hope of becoming a “better” Christian if I am not walking closely with God. I have no life apart from Him.

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (5:25)

I now live with the hope that I have GOD actually working in my life to make me a person who has His Spirit thriving within. There is nothing better than knowing that it is not up to me to create a good life nor to decide what good my life will produce on this Earth. Through studying Galatians I have a better understanding of the resource I have in God. I have a God who is for me and not against me. I could never make springs of living water well up within me, but God has the power and the desire to walk with me each day and make something truly good flow in and through me to accomplish His desires for my life.

-Kerry Kennedy