Since having children, laundry has become my most dreaded chore as a stay at home mom. In each bedroom, we have some sort of clothes bin or basket for each person's dirty clothes. But sometimes, my system gets a little crazy when the kids take a bath in my bathroom. I am just too lazy to walk to the other side of the house and distribute the dirty clothes in the appropriate place so the clothes end up being thrown in my bin. Sometimes Josiah or Ava Beth will take a sock off in the living room and take the other sock off in my room which leads to unmatched socks. Or Ava Beth, my one year old, will be in her pajamas eating breakfast and I pull her shirt off to prevent food stains. But the pants stay on for a while longer and almost always the pajama set gets separated. I realized this had become a huge problem for me when my husband got Ava Beth ready for bed. When he finished dressing her, she came out of her room wearing a pajama top from one set and the bottoms from another. It's just not something I can let go of, she has to match. Even for bed! Or I do a load of laundry and find that I have three socks, but no pairs. Currently, I have one pajama bottom and three socks CLEAN sitting on my dresser as they wait to find their match!
As I pray to become more and more like my Heavenly Father, I am realizing how much in my life does not match up with what He is doing. If I want to be used, I have to be changed. There are some things that are just simple non-negotiables. I know that if I walk around cussing like a sailor, people will not see Jesus in me.
That's easy, right?! I know that I can't run people off the road or get in fights when someone does something to agitate me. I know that I can't fill my life with addictions. I know as a Christian, a lot has to die with my flesh. But, what about the other things that don't match God's plan for my life. I have to find what matches Him, Christ.
Anger does not match Jesus. Gossip does not match with Jesus. Unforgiveness does not match with Jesus. Jealousy does not match with Jesus. Worry or Fear does not match with Jesus. Pride does not match with Jesus. Lying ( this also means exaggerating) does not match with Jesus. Manipulating does not match with Jesus. There is really nothing about our flesh that does match up with Jesus.
These things are never a match!
So as I pray to find matches to become more like Jesus, the Holy Spirit reminds me of these nine words. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Take anything that's not like Him and replace with these instead. Now, that's a match!
Living by the Spirit's Power
Galatians 5:16-26 (New Living Translation)
16So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 26Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another