Tag Archives: walk in the spirit

Exercise Unto Godliness

1 Timothy 4:7-11

7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things command and teach.

I am terrible about exercising, I admit. I can get on my exercise bike one day and then just get too bored to get on it again. My granddaughter and I got a one month pass to the local fitness center with very good intentions. But she has used it only once and I have not used it at all. I’m guessing I won’t renew the membership. I do walk the dog faithfully and this is about the only exercise I get. To my dismay, that means my weight stays where it is, which is about 15 pounds more than I would like it to be. I did lose that weight once by a combination of a good diet and more exercise, and I need to do that again. Being lazy like I have become sets bad habits into place, and I need to get rid of them. If I don’t, my health could be jeopardized even further, I will have more shortness of breath and I will have other problems with my body that I would just as soon not face.

Our spiritual life is no different. It too needs exercise and a good diet. I need to regularly exercise my spirit by praise and meditation. I need to utilize the prayer language that God has given me to pray for those needs I don’t have all the information about. I need to exercise the spiritual gifts that God has placed in my life to edify my church. And I need a steady diet on the Word of God, which is the bread of life. Not just reading it and meditating on it, but studying out principles that God lays on my heart. I must make sure I am not just relying on others to interpret the word for me, but ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to me as well. There are many untruths in our world today as we have discussed. I must be able to tell the difference between what is true and what is false. This is a must for all of us.

Old wives fables can include anything that has been a doctrine or custom of the church that is contrary to the Bible. Do you have those things in your church? Are there things you do just out of habit that have been that way for a long time, yet you question whether it is right or not? When you bring it up to someone they just say we have always done it that way and you just let it rest. Or maybe it’s a teaching of your church, or a doctrinal statement that is just not Biblical, although it sounds close. Maybe within yourself you have questioned it for a long time but have never spoken up. Maybe it’s time you do! People can be misled by old habits as fast as they can from new doctrine. We must regularly exercise our faith and our spirit to abide in the vine as Jesus asked us to.

You see, when we practice Godliness it is good for all those around us, even if they don’t believe. Imagine a world where all the Christians always practice Ephesians 4:29 and never spoke a foul word but always said things that ministered grace to the hearer. Imagine a world where all Christians turned the other cheek and walked the extra mile. Imagine a world where we were never worried, but always prayed with thanksgiving. Imagine a world where we forgave every offense and put it behind us, choosing to love instead of holding a grudge. Imagine a world where we could bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endured all things. Imagine a world where we always thought on things that were true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy about other people. Do you see a better world being formed? Do you see how this would profit all men?

These things and many more should be our way of life because we know the Savior. We know the one who taught us how to live this life and how to enter the kingdom of heaven. He showed us the way to walk on this earth, loving the unlovable, reaching out to the outcast, bringing healing to the sick and maimed and bringing life to those who are dead, both in body and in Spirit. As we exercise Godliness, we touch lives. We become Jesus to them. We live through the reproaches they might bring into our life because we trust God to see us through.

Exercising our Spirit will bring us closer to God and closer to the perfection He asks for. Without it, we will wither away in our spiritual walk and not have the power God expects us to walk in. We will not have the strength to stand up to temptation. We will forget the words that can bring us through trials. Our witness will become cold and dim in a world already filled with darkness. Let us not be weary in well doing. Let us exercise the faith that we entered into as babes, yearning for more and more. He nurtured us and taught us by His Holy Spirit. He guided our steps to where we are today. It’s time we step up and do all that He wants us to do! Walk in the power and strength of the Lord!

Advertisements

Let the New Creature Live!

Galatians 6:15-18 (KJV)

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

Paul  concludes his letter with a very straight forward conlusion. He says the only thing that matters for being in Christ is that the new creature shows up. This new creature is not one that walks after the flesh but he walks in the spirit. This new creature does not display the things of this world that so often destroys but it displays a fruit of the spirit which brings life. The fruit are alive and active in everything that he does. This new creature does not take glory for itself but gives all the glory to God. This new creature is not of this world and does not answer to any authority in this world but answers to the authority of Jesus Christ and lives in heavenly places.

But this new creature must to live in this world. It must rise above difficulties and trials that come its way in this world. It should walk in joy whenever Trials Come Along. It should have peace instead of anxiety. It should have unbounding patience towards everybody that it comes in contact with. Gentleness and goodness should exude from its body and its mouth at every turn no matter what the circumstances may look like. This new creature will have faith that is undeniable both in God and in those people that it comes across. It will walk in meekness knowing that it is to esteem others more highly than itself but also knowing that inside it has the power of almighty God at its disposal. And this New creature will display self control in every area of its life so that the message is brings is always calm and reassuring.

This new creature will never have corrupt communication proceed from its mouth but it will minister grace to the hearers with every word that it says. This new creature will think on things that are just, pure,  lovely,  true and honest.   It will always listen to the good report and not the bad report. It will look at things that are virtuous and praiseworthy in those around it and not focus on the negative. This is the mindset that will always be prevalent. This new creature will be content in whatever state it is in.

When we walk according to this rule peace and mercy will follow us. What more could we ask for it? When we have peace following along behind us turmoil will avoid us and we will see that God is always at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We will place those things in His hands and know that He will bring good about through them. This piece will pervade every other emotion that we have so that we will always trust God in every situation. And we will trust him because we know that He will have mercy upon all those who follow him. His Mercy will saturate this new creatures life more and more as he grows in Christ.

When we get to this point in our walk it is like we bear the mark of the Lord Jesus Christ. His life is so infused in ours that we always walk in the place of grace and mercy. There’s never a moment that we doubt God is working in our lives. When we trust in that new creation He has put within us we know that the old man will be defeated and the new man will rise. We know that the Holy Spirit resides within our body because we are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We know that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is always on our side and will always come to our rescue. There’s not a day we doubt in our mind about this so peace and joy is always by our side.. what a wonderful place this is to live.

Paul ends his letter with the same salute that I will give you.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

We have come to the conclusion of Paul’s letter and I am at a loss what direction to take this blog next.  But I know God will guide me where He wants this to go, so  keep watching for what will come next.  Whatever it is, I will learn from the words He gives me as much as you will, I am sure.

Be blessed

Crucify the Flesh

Galatians 5:24-26 (KJV)

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

After telling his readers about the fruit of the spirit, and how they are necessary to our walking in the spirit instead of in the flesh, Paul goes one step further.  He says we who follow Christ have crucified the flesh and the affections and lusts that go with it.  To really get a grip on what Paul is  saying here, we have to understand what crucifixion does to a person.  It’s easy for is to say we need to just die to those things.  It is an altogether different thing to say we must crucify them.

All of us most likely have a picture of what crucifixion looks like.  A cross is the typical method by which this torture is carried out.  Make no mistake – this is torture.  A person is attached to the cross by nails through their wrists and upper ankle.   The position of the spike is important because the bone structure around it must be abled to withstand the weight of the person and also provide the strength for the person to pull or push with those extremities.  A very small step is usually under the feet of the victim so they can push themselves up on that perch to breath once in a while.   The cross is then raised up and dropped into a whole, causing the victim to feel the pressure of the restraints all over his body.

Now it is a matter of time.  The position of the victim is that he must push up with his feet to breath, but he can only maintain that for a short period of time before he mustfall down.  His arms then have to hold his weight.  Eventually, the shoulders give out and come out of the socket.  This makes pulling himself up even harder and more painful, so he droops down, conflicting his chest so he can barely breath.  Usually the cause of death is suffocation – the victim just cannot breath anymore.  The pain is unbearable all the time and it is most likely a welcome relief when death finally comes.

Anyone who says it is easy to get rid of our desire to fulfill our fleshly desires is fooling themselves.  First of all, we cannot do it ourselves – we need Christ as our strength to rid ourselves of these things.  If we try to do it in our own strength, we will most likely fail.  Some things God takes away – I believe that.  God took away my filthy tongue when I got saved.  He has since taken away my alcoholism and my drug abuse.  I am so glad He took those things.  Those were easy for me to get rid of.  But there are other things that keep haunting me, keep coming back up in my thought life.  These will take more – these will take crucifixion!

Crucifying those things mean that I deny them air.  I deny them sight.  I deny them hearing.  I deny them through all my senses.  It takes a complete effort throughout my entire being to overcome these things.  Things like pornography, lascivious thoughts, enjoying inappropriate jokes, making rude comments – all of these take a concerted effort on our part to be gone.  This is why Paul uses the term “affections and lusts” when telling us we must crucify the flesh.  Other actions and mannerisms go easy compared to these.  Believe me, I am a living example of that truth.  If you have any experience with pornography you will know exactly what I am talking about.  If you do not, it will be hard for you to understand how this insidious sin gets inside those of us who have fallen into it’s clutches.  If you know someone who has, be gentle and loving.  It is a lifelong battle.  Crucifying that flesh is not a pleasant thing, and they need all the support they can get.

Once we have arrived at the point that we can live in the Spirit, we must also walk in the Spirit.  It is not enough for us to just live our own life in the Spirit, separate from the world.  We must walk in the Spirit day in and day out.  This is how we plant those seeds we talked about so frequently when discussing the Fruit of the Spirit.  It is our duty to go out and be fruitful!  The world needs to see the fruit on display often, because the world is sorely lacking in these wonderful things God gives us.  They will only see it if we walk in the Spirit all the time.  Put aside your wicked tongue and walk in the gentleness and goodness of a tamed tongue.  Throw out your need to be recognized and treat others with the patience and meekness God has instilled within you.   And by all means show Love, peace  and joy wherever you go!

Last but not least, in his urging us to walk in the Spirit, Paul tells us to put down our pride.  He tells us to stop seeking man’s approval and to stop envying each other.  He tells us to not be someone who provokes others.  The Fruit of the Spirit has nothing to do with those things.  We are to be peacemakers, lifting up others ahead of ourselves.  There is no room for pride in someone who Walks in the Spirit.  We will quickly find ourselves following after our own gain if pride is left to unchecked.  I beseech you to ask God to search your heart, and to remove every bit of pride that rises up against the Spirit and it’s Fruit.  Only God can reveal this to you.

Walk in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-18 KJV

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

What exactly does it mean to walk in the spirit? That’s a question I have heard asked and answered many times in the 40 years that I’ve been a Christian. I’ve studied it long and hard and have come away with some thoughts that I will share with you today. This is such a key part of us fulfilling what God wants us to do. We must take heed to study it out for ourselves and allow God to speak to us one on one. God longs to speak to us and teach us the will of God (Is 33:18, 65:1-2). He wants to talk to us and he longs for us to get intimate with him (Matt 23:37). What is our reluctance to do that?

The truth is that for most of us the flesh takes priority. We want to do those things that please us on this earth. Our ears are open to what are flushes asking us for. So many times, that is food, clothing and shelter – the basic necessities of life. I know that I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about these three things.

When it comes to food, I like to get out so I make a grocery list almost every day. It’s usually a short list just so I can have an excuse to be out with people. I make sure that we always have the essentials and I usually pick up something fresh for supper. This may be a fixation on the food part of life, fulfilling the lust of the flesh with this necessity.

When it comes to clothing I don’t believe I spend too much time on this one. I dress in the morning and pretty much stay in the same clothes all day. Typically, I am just running around town if I’m doing errands so I don’t need to be dressed to the hilt. So, this is an easy one and takes very little time.

Then when I think about shelter, it not only includes the house. It includes everything that goes with that house. This means time spent thinking about the rent or the mortgage, the insurance, the water and sewer bills, the electric bills. There’s a lot more to thinking about our shelter than just our house. I don’t know that I spend an inordinate amount of time on this. God has given us good provision in our household to take care of the things that need to be taken care of.

The reason I mention these three things is because God says we shouldn’t worry about them. He says He knows that we have need of these things and He will take care of them (Matt 6:8, 31-32. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to pay the bills but it does mean we shouldn’t worry about where that money is going to come from. God will provide it in due time. After telling us not to worry about those things He tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness because then all these things will be added (Matthew 6:33)

Seeking first the kingdom is walking in the spirit. It is setting our mind on things above and allowing God to speak to us about His Kingdom. It is studying the word and looking for those verses that will speak to us today. I believe God has new things to tell us every day but they are all contained within His word. If we are not in the word then we will miss out many times on what He wants to say today. Walking in the spirit is always being open to His voice and being quiet enough to hear it. Uncluttered and unfettered by all the cares of this world. It is putting aside the lust of the Flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and instead having on mind set on Him.

Walking in the spirit does not neglect our daily tasks. It allows God to direct us while we’re doing those daily tasks. It is stopping to pray for someone when God says to pray. It is going out of our way to do something when God says to do that thing. I can’t tell you how many times God has directed me to one place or another and I have been able to minister in someone when I went out of my way and listened to Him. Listening to that still small voice inside us, the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth (John 16:12). It’s truly amazing how God will direct us if we are walking in the spirit.  We will think on the right things (Phil 4:8).  We will not be anxious about anything (Phil 4:6-7).  We will know that things will turn out for our good (Rom 8:28)

But one of the most beautiful things about walking in the spirit is that when we do we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We will not fulfill the sinful desires that so often come into our mind throughout the day. I’m sure that you have them just like I do. Putting these thoughts aside is difficult if we try to do it in our own strength. When we’re walking in the spirit we have his strength behind us and it’s much easier to put aside the lust of the flesh. We are with Him in our mind. We are listening to His voice. We are still and we know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). As Paul says, we cannot do both because they are contrary to one another.

A second benefit of walking in the spirit is that we will not be walking under the law. We will be walking in grace, because the spirit ministers’ mercy and grace. The spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgement (John 16:8-10). This is all mercy and grace, because when these convictions come into our lives, it is God giving us the opportunity to repent. God does not leave us under the law. He brings us out from under that bondage because Jesus fulfilled the law (Matt 5:17-20). He paid the penalties that were due under the law be becoming our sacrifice (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 10:10, 1 John 2:2). We are no longer indebted to the law. Now we are to minister that same mercy and grace to others. How? By loving our neighbor as ourselves. Be loving our neighbor with the same mercy and grace that God showed to us. This is walking in the spirit!