There are so many things in life that can throw you off your path. For example, I can be on a roll with my workouts and then I get sick for a few days. I get well and then it takes me forever to pick the habit back up. And this is just one path. Other then my health, my home, work, and spiritual life all are paths that need habits in order to succeed. Our spiritual life should be in the forefront because it’s what basically leads the rest. And if we aren’t leading with the right foot it makes every other path that much harder. So what’s going to make us stick to that path? How are we supposed to lead that area of our lives? The answer? 9 words.
It’s funny because I remember just 2 years ago being single and living the fullest spiritual life. It’s much easier to stay on path when all you need to worry about is yourself. I used to think “if I had a husband, life would be easy because I could count on him to help me.” Well let me first say, my husband is the hardest working and most thoughtful man I’ve ever known. I honestly can’t fathom how he does it. When he stops working at work, he works at home. When he stops thinking about the kids he thinks of me and when he stops thinking of me he thinks of the kids. And I mean this is non-stop. He is a “doer” and expresses his love that way. So as far as a helpmate, I’ve got one of the best! But he’s not going to make sure I’ve completed all my tasks that are going to help me grow. Sure he encourages it, prays with me, leads, guides and takes us to church. But he isn’t going to truly know the condition of my heart. He won’t know if I’m leading daily with love. And even if he checked in (which he does) I can say “yes,” but would he really know? No. Of course not. Only God knows our heart. When I met Neil, I can say it threw me off of my spiritual path a bit. You know that example with exercise? How a cold could throw you off? Well adding a person to the equation to your spiritual life can also do that. You can become dependent on a person to keep you on track or you can easily put them first before God. Well in co-dependent, hopeless romantic fashion, this girl did both.
I married my husband because he was an active Christian. There’s obviously many other reasons too but that was a must. I fell in love with his love for God, his children and his family. I also fell in love with his blue eyes and tattoos but that’s for another day. I started to base my day, nights and emotions around him and I’d be willing to bet he did the same. Trust me, guys aren’t immune to the love disease either. I also can bet in some way, shape or form I depended on him to keep me in line a bit since he was a Christian man with a lot of wisdom. But as time has passed, we’ve let each other down. We’ve seen the worst in each other and realize that neither of us are God. He will never be able to keep my heart in check, only God can do that. And he can never be first before God because he will never be perfect and can’t promise to never let me down. And I can’t do the same for him.
So what will keep us on track?
I began asking for that answer. I prayed constantly asking him to get me back on track. I kept reading my bible, going to women’s group and church. Days and even a few months went by. But just as God’s timing is always perfect and I began to realize the unbalance in my spiritual path he kept leading me over and over again to Galations 5. I’d hear it in church. I’d see it on my bible app. I’d find it the next day as I read on in my bible. This was it. The answer. The answer I had been begging for for what seemed to be forever. He had to hit me over the head with it but that’s no surprise, I’m a stubborn Italian.
I won’t write out the whole chapter but I strongly suggest to take the time to because it’s one of my favorite chapters. But in short, these were the words that cut me deep:
Galatians 5:7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?
Galations 5: 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.
Galatians 5: 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Oh my gosh! I was allowing everything else to guide my life. I forgot the reason why I had so much spiritual fullness 2 years ago. Not because I was reading my bible and going to church but because I was letting the Holy Spirit lead my life. I was producing the 9 fruits. These 9 simple words were my answer and once I led with them, I would also attain them!
- Self Control
I’m not perfect at this at all. I am reminding myself everyday to let the Holy Spirit lead. To let love lead. But knowing the answer, memorizing the 9 fruits and repeating them to myself when things get tough or when I get out of touch, these 9 one word thoughts bring me back to balance. These are not just my answer, they are yours too.