"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."

 // Galatians 5:18 [ESV]

If you grew up in a churched environment, or if you have been in the church long enough, you may be familiar with a ‘hook of performance’ that at some point lands in your soul, purposed to tie you down to earthly thinking. But we never recognize it for what it is – we think of it as a ‘grappling hook’ by which we can pull ourselves up into higher levels of experiencing God’s nature and presence. Yet, the reality is that this hook sinks ever deeper into our soul. The more we strive to pull ourselves upward by its tether, the more the great weight attached to the other end of this line pulls us downward, into ourselves.

What’s that hook, that line, that sinker? The line is a familiar one – one the enemy uses on us by many different variations: “You’re not good enough! God is not happy with you and you must try harder if you want to please Him!” That line is a lie that has bait – religiosity – attached to it, and its only design is to sink us into our old, dead selves. That was the line/lie the serpent used on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and it’s the same one he still tries to use on us today.

The whole point of the Cross was to put our old man into the grave with Christ, and to raise us up with Christ as a whole new creation. We are not who we were and so, in truth, the enemy’s lie cannot and should not have power over our minds. If we rightly ponder the mystery of the ‘new creation’ we will quickly realize that we have been given a new heart – one patterned after Jesus’ own – and it is unnatural for us to desire to sin or live in deception. In reality, the natural bent of our new creation heart is to love, naturally, the freedom and joy of God’s heart. Our hearts are naturally inclined to produce the Fruit of the Spirit – to thrive in love, to revel in joy, to persist in peace.  

We are not who we were – for now we are Spirit-born and Spirit-led. We are led by the new natural desires of our new Spirit-infused hearts – the Fruit of the Spirit – and our natural desire is to follow God everywhere, led by His Holy Spirit.  

Be natural. Think natural. Follow the Holy Spirit. This is the true worship – worship in spirit and truth.

// Samuel Nicolosi