That’s the Spirit! (part 1)

The Word for today:
Hosea 13, 14

mark this: Hosea 11:3-4
Yet it was I who taught Israel to walk;
I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.  (Hosea 11:3-4)

and this: Galatians 5:25
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

The Bible tells us that we are going to conform to the image of Jesus (1). But that doesn’t mean we’re going to look like Jesus looks in his yearbook photo or in his mug shot. It means we’re going to act like him, think like him, live like him, and “walk” like him.

Which begs the question: How did Jesus walk?
The answer: he walked under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit:
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness…And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.  (Luke 4:1, 14)

Walking by the Spirit is also called walking by faith (2).  God teaches us how:
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them. (Hosea 11:3-4)

***

Today, we will find out what walking by the Spirit is not:

1. Walking by the Spirit is not for experienced Christians only.
In fact, we were walking in the Spirit before we knew it! The classic altar-call anthem “Just As I Am” depicts walking by the Spirit in the very first moment of a born-again life. As the infant believer goes forward to follow the Lamb of God, (s)he is already walking by the Spirit, without a thought for anything but Jesus. Do not let anyone tell you that walking in the Spirit is for advanced believers. In fact, it is sad but true that for many of us, our best walking was done on our first day, before somebody started to explain to us “the right way” to walk! Then we got so confused we couldn’t put the left shoe down after the right shoe…

2. You don’t have to follow a program or take a certain course.
You just have to take a certain path, which looks like this:
“I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”

3. Walking by the Spirit is not self-reformation!
That’s why Jesus railed against the self-righteous Pharisees. That’s why Paul spoke with such alarm to the Galatians:
You foolish Galatians! Tell me this one thing: did you receive God’s Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the gospel and believing it? How can you be so foolish! You began by God’s Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power? (from Galatians 3:1-3)

It is not about making a list and checking it twice. It is not about gritting your teeth and plodding ahead. It’s Spirit-revolution, not self-reformation.

***

Today, we’ve seen what walking in the Spirit is not. Tomorrow, we’ll see what it is.

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(1) see Romans 8:29; (2) see Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:25, and 2 Corinthians 5:7

About Stand in the Rain Blogger

Trying to be who God made me, I am wary of my influences. I avoid the culture that surrounds me, for the most part. I soaked up that crap for 40 years. I am trying to replace the word of the world with the unvarnished Word of God.** I like people, but I like solitude just as much. Go figure.** I adore Jesus Christ. I am flipped-out, flamingly and fervently in love with Him. I count it a privilege to draw breath in His universe. All my springs are in Him.** I am crazy about my wife, Shelley. She outshines the sun. I can't help it if I'm lucky.** My heroes are my kids--Caitlin, Gwenlyn, Frankie, & Eddy. I aspire to be like them when I grow up.
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