So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
— The Apostle Paul to the Galatians, Galatians 5:16-18

The Galatians were caught up in trying to earn their salvation by obedience. They weren’t straying from Jesus, but they weren’t sticking to the core of the gospel: that God works restoration in us through faith in Jesus, not through what we can do.

Sanctification is the process of God making us more like Jesus. Not only does that mean developing good things, it also means that some parts of us must be cut out. Paul lists “acts of the flesh” that must not be part of our lives and contrasts that life with a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit.

Think about a piece of raw untrimmed chicken

As a visual example, think about a piece of raw chicken. Before it is ready to be consumed it must first be trimmed, cut up, seasoned, and cooked. Without the trimming, without the heat of the fire, that piece of chicken will not be fit for eating.

The sanctification process is far from pleasant at times. I’m willing to bet that if you were a piece of raw chicken it’d be hard to volunteer to have someone pound you, cut off parts of you, and throw you into a fire.

Seasoning – sure that sounds nice, but the other stuff we avoid if we can. Yet no one eats the seasoning on its own. Every part is important to a delicious piece of chicken.

Yes, we did cook some chicken. It was delicious.

Yes, we did cook some chicken. It was delicious.

Your challenge this week:

Is God asking you to let Him pound, cook, or season you this week? Is there an area in your life that needs to be cut out?

The seasoning process can be enjoyable, marinating in God’s Word by meditating on it doesn’t sound so bad, but tenderizing, trimming, cutting and cooking not so much. To ask God to do what needs to be done to make us more like Jesus, even if it means cutting and lots of heat, is a terrifying prayer from our point of view. But we know that whatever He does with us is making us so much better and we can trust that He knows what He’s doing.