16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I am not a visionary. I’m more of a practical kind of person. I think in the here and now, not the future or abstract. But do I need the visionary? Yes. Because the visionary informs the practical. The visionary influences the daily. If my vision is incomplete or missing altogether, I won’t be sure what my priorities for everyday living are.
But what kind of vision should I have? Where should I be aiming? Because if I don’t aim anywhere I will go nowhere. But I don’t just want to aim somewhere – I want to aim at the right places. I want to push into that new kingdom Jesus is inviting me into. But it’s going to take vision and intention and practice as we’ll talk about this week.
Galatians 5 gives us a picture of what disciples should aim for. A vision for what life in the kingdom of God is all about! Recently the lyrics to “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman have been in my head: A million dreams are keeping me awake. I think of what the world could be. A vision of the one I see. That world was a young boy’s dream and he grew to make it possible, though he became disillusioned by his dreams. But this world, this vision is possible! Change is possible! By His Spirit.
Visionary thinking often seems unattainable and unreachable. But Jesus-followers have power within them to accomplish the vision. It is the Spirit who bears the fruit. Our job is to walk by the Spirit and He will bear the fruit as we practice His ways. So, why have this vision? We’ll experience freedom (John 8), joy (Romans 12:2), and we’ll know God in deeper ways (John 15).
Today write out a “Becoming Bucket List.” Who do you want to become as a follower of Christ? Get specific. Rather than “try not to get angry”, write “practice self-control when things don’t go my way.” Make this list without guilt or frustration. Don’t worry about it being perfect; just free-write.
Now, go back and edit it. Underline anything backed by Scripture and write the references next to them. Cross out anything motivated by pleasing man or earning your salvation. Turn this list into a prayer request list for the Spirit to fulfill in your life. It’s His vision, He will carry it out as you bring Him your intention and as you commit to practice.
By Ellen Rosenberger