Have you ever wonder how you are doing in your relationship with God? Do you ever have questions like: "Am I on the Word, off the Word, am I walking with God on the right path, does He approve of what I’m doing?" Really, unless God speaks directly to you about it, then how do you know for sure? He’s not always Johnny on the spot with progress reports and performance feedback.
You know why that is? God is awesome. In the bible He provided us with a way, a system if you will, of determining the answers to all those questions, for yourself and for other people! He gave us a gauge to judge ourselves by. It’s always accurate and it is completely fool-proof. It is a Biblical Secret of Discernment. I call the "Gauge to Godliness".
You know what fool-proof means? It means: Designed so as to be impervious to human incompetence, error, or misuse. Effective; infallible. The results of God’s gauge can’t be faked or tampered with. You will never get a wrong read out. You want to know what it is? It's found in 3 parts For the first part, turn your bibles to the book of Galatians chapter 6 verse 7.
Gauge to Godliness - Galatians 6:7-8
Gauge to Godliness
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Galatians 6:7-8: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Short Word Study: "Be not deceived..." -As people often easily are. "God is not mocked:" -God is mocked by people who think to reap other than they sow. Sowing as in an analogy of planting seeds to grow crops. Reap means harvest; it’s what you get from doing something. You can not plant tomato seeds and expect to grow corn. It just doesn’t work that way. Just like you can’t do bad things and expect good to come of it. “For he that soweth to the flesh…” -That means those who follow their own selfish desires... “shall of the flesh reap corruption;”
The dictionary defines Corrupt as:
1) made inferior by errors or alterations,
2) infected; tainted.
3) decayed; putrid.
Corruption leads to destruction. The use of the term "corruption" implies that destruction is not a punishment, but is its natural fruit; the end result, the flesh being corrupt produces corruption, which then leads to destruction. You reap what you sow.
Gauge to Godliness - Left Side - Galatians 5:19-21
Now that we know Part 1, let’s look at Part 2; what the Apostle Paul says happens when we are not walking by faith with God but “sowing to the flesh”.
Galatians 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Get to know each work of the flesh in better detail because this is the left side of your Gauge to Godliness. Depending on how many of these manifest in your life and at what level of activity or intensity will show you how far away from God a person is.
Jesus says in John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. As Isaiah tells us in 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” The works of the flesh bring nothing good that is lasting.
Gauge to Godliness - Right Side - Galatians 5:22-23
In contrast to the works of the flesh, AKA your “old man nature” let’s take a look at the Fruit of the Spirit which is the right side of your gauge. When you are born again you receive the Gift of Holy Spirit; you become a new creation, a new man, because a spiritual seed is placed inside you. When cultivated and grown this seed blossoms into a tree that bears spiritual fruit.
The amount of fruit you bear is dependant on how much you tend to the seed and grow it... meaning, how close you are to God and how much you are doing His word. This fruit manifests itself in the following ways:
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance; against such there is no law.” Get to know each fruit of the spirit in better detail because this is the right side of your Gauge to Godliness. Depending on how many of these manifest in your life and at what level of activity or intensity will show you how close God a person is.
Now let's see it all together and look at how
the Works of the Flesh directly contrasts
the Fruit of the Spirit:
Gauge to Godliness
|Left Side - Far from God
Works of the Flesh
| Right Side - Close to God
Fruit of the Spirit
|Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness
|Variance, Strife, Heresies
This should give you great insight into people. Do you want to know the truth about what is in a person’s heart? Watch what they are saying and what they are doing. More importantly, pay close attention to what is developing around them. What kind of fruit is manifesting in their life? Is it of the Spirit or of the flesh? That will tell you the truth about where they really are with God.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.”
NOTE: Please be careful that you do not fall into self condemnation if you look at your gauge and feel like you are falling short. Also, don't fault another if you see they are falling short. Use your “Gauge to Godliness” as a mile post, or to see in what areas you need to grow more; or how you might be able to best help others who are struggling. Make it a positive thing.
Don’t grow tired in sowing into the spirit if you are not seeing immediate results. Sow your seeds, wait for them to grow and then harvest when ripe. You ever see a farmer plant seeds, never water them and then give up after a week or two when nothing grows? No! And neither should you.
Keep these definitions of the Works of the Flesh and the Fruit of the Spirit in mind as you go about your day, be aware of what you do, what you say and what is developing around you. It is your Biblical Secret of Discernment. Then make adjustments in your life accordingly. Use your new found gauge to Godliness. Make a conscious daily effort to sow less into the flesh and more into the spirit, be patient and hang tough with it. In due season you will reap what you sow, a bountiful harvest of goodness in your life and in the lives of those around you.
God bless you!
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About the Teacher: Pastor Daniel Sweet is the President and founder of God's Word First. He is an ordained minister, biblical scholar, teacher of the holy spirit and an expert author on the subject of Leadership. He and his wife, Debbra Sweet have overseen the growth and development of multiple in home fellowships and have been instrumental in helping many people come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word.