One Spirit-Guided Yes and No at a Time

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | November 27, 2023

If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 NRSV

Our church has spent the past nine weeks steeped in Galatians 5:22-23. I’ve been reminded again that living the Fruit of the Spirit isn’t a spiritual accomplishment, it’s an ongoing, lifelong, Spirit-guided adventure.

Embodying God’s character traits—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control—can’t be simplified into a daily checklist to complete. It’s not as straightforward as brushing and flossing my teeth, reading my Bible in the morning, finishing a work project well, serving weekly at church, having dinner with family and friends, or helping a neighbor rake their leaves. Or is it?

You and I become more like Christ when we embrace His self-controlled way of life—when you and I leverage one Spirit-guided yes and no at a time. Our inside-out transformation takes place across way more ordinary days than extraordinary ones. With that in mind, what’s more self-controlled than choosing, remembering, and following through on everyday responsibilities?

Brushing your teeth and flossing builds godly character. Bible reading recalibrates your mind, heart, and soul toward the Lord. Finishing a work project well honors the process and partners with God to prepare you for what’s next. Serving weekly at church is a selfless rhythm that takes the attention off you and shines it on your heavenly Father and others. Having dinner with family and friends grows your capacity for biblical community. And helping a neighbor rake leaves cares for creation and their needs.

When we humbly, intentionally, and tenaciously lean into the transforming power of one Spirit-guided yes and no at a time, the Fruit of the Spirit has room to bloom. It’s well known that saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to something else. When we do this in step with God’s Spirit and for His sake, that’s the essence of self-control.

Next Steps   

  • Pick one of the everyday responsibilities above, or choose one of your own to work on. Let the Spirit guide you in saying yes and no with clarity, confidence, and courage to grow in self-control today. Tell someone close to you, maybe a friend in your Rooted Group, what you’re working on today and fill them in tonight on how it went.
  • Did you know Willow is offering a digital Advent experience this Christmas season? If you’re interested in being a part of this experience by receiving an email every Sunday of Advent with a devotional, prayers for the week, and an activity, you can sign up here.