There is an old electronic meter, hanging on the wall of a recording studio near here. It’s just for decoration; kind of looks like something out of Frankenstein. Big old needle that swings back and forth – one side says “Good” and the other says “Bad.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a meter like that in life?
We’ve been talking about what we can expect when we put our faith in Jesus and He installs His Holy Spirit in our souls. We now have an “online” communication with God, causing us to live more in line with the way He designed us to operate. Trouble is, we also have years and years of old, deeply ingrained habits, that compete with the Spirit. Good and Bad, Spirit and Flesh (See: “Can I Do New Stuff?”). Question is: how do we know when we are operating by the Spirit and when we are operating by our old habits?
The Bible has a “Good/Bad” meter of sorts in the book of Galatians. Basically, it says you will know whether you are living by the Spirit’s direction or by the Flesh (they call it “sinful nature”), by looking at the end results of our behavior.
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. …
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Excerpts from Galatians 5:19-23 New Living Translation)