Lying in bed last night, I was totally exhausted. I had had a really tough day and was taking inventory of my heart. I began to run through the list of spiritual fruit that I should exhibit on the inside (at least I can fake it on the outside).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
Faithfulness and gentleness? NOPE.
Self-control? Yes, all my kids are still alive, and my wife has not left!
Two verses below this one we read:
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
One of my greatest fears is that I will walk off and leave the Spirit behind. I have done it too often, and nobody has even noticed, including me.
We can build churches, missions, and ministry and never have the Spirit leading us. Again, one of my greatest fears is that I will live this life under my own authority, fooling everyone around me, all the while grieving the Spirit in a way that He leaves me to do things on my own.
If we are to walk by the Spirit, we have to learn how not to grieve the Spirit.
We start out wanting to attract the Spirit, but we are not discriminating in the way we are living or talking. The result is that we attract people to us and start giving them what they want (talking religiously, dressing right, listening to the right music, even reading the Bible, going on missions trips and, yes, attending church weekly).
We like it, and it feels good, but the Spirit is nowhere around.
The next thing you know, we are way off course, chasing after whatever looks like the spiritual life. The Holy Spirit may be in you, but He is not leading you. You are operating out of your own ability and doing what you think is right or looks right to others. You are doing what you think you ought to do as a Christian, but you are not being led by the Spirit. You are walking according to the flesh, not the Spirit.
Walking according to the Spirit happens by becoming aware of what grieves and quenches the Spirit, and then doing the opposite. To do this, we need to tune into the sensitivity of the Spirit.
We need to be aware of and sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
- When we are aware of the Holy Spirit, we learn what grieves Him and causes Him to withdraw from our lives. If we can learn what grieves Him, we can make adjustments in how we live to avoid grieving Him and to enable us to grow in our intimacy with Him.
- When we learn to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we are learning how to be tuned into the way He moves and reveals Himself to us. It is His active will or voice that leads us. If we develop our sensitivity to the Spirit, we will hear Him when He speaks and avoid quenching the Spirit.
BOOM-schnizzle!! Get on with it, and start living, walking, and being led by the Spirit.
Let me hear your comments on the blog response. Specifically, let me know how you have learned to be aware of the Holy Spirit regarding what seems to shut him down in your life. Also, let’s hear ways you have learned to be sensitive to him, tuned in, and able to follow His lead!
**Next week we’ll look at HOW we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit.**