Guard your heart against legalism. It is easy to follow mere rules, self-imposed or otherwise. But it is way tougher to live by the Spirit, by the law that is written on your heart and impressed on your mind. It is a higher standard that Jesus calls us to. It requires us to rely on His guidance, and not our own strength.
It is at first difficult to live by the Spirit, because we are so used to living by the rules out of fear, and not genuine love or concern for others. Living by the Spirit calls for radical living - self denial; sscrificial love; dependence on God; giving up life's fleeting pleasures; surrendering all, even your thoughts and every sliver of rebellion or pride; and finally, practicing obedience to Christ.
Living by the Spirit is to live out of love, not out of fear. It is to demonstrate the grace and truth we have found in Jesus, and not to live self-righteously with a smirk of condemnation for those who aren't living by your self-imposed legalism. It is true freedom that few find although many profess to follow Christ.
As the apostle John wrote, 'But if anyone obeys His word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.' 1 John 1:5-6
~ J a n i e ll e