Walking in the Spirit
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin . . . so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Did you notice that the verse you just read is all about God and not about us? Simply paraphrased, Paul is saying, "For what we through the Law could not do . . . "
Everything from salvation to sanctification to future glorification is all a work of God's Spirit on our behalf.
This is another way of saying that people who "walk in the Spirit" are not people who have everything figured out. They are merely people who rely on God's strength, one step at a time.
I have a friend whose testimony illustrates this point very well. Before he became a believer, he was sentenced to four years for "white-collar crimes." But God would use his imprisonment to bring spiritual freedom.
Early into his incarceration, he was on the phone with his sister who shared the gospel with him. He broke into tears and prayed to receive Christ as His Savior. His life would change dramatically from that point.
His first night as a Christian, he began reading a Bible that a friend had given him. A fellow inmate saw him reading and asked him if he wanted to start a Bible study. He thought that was a great idea, but he didn't want to be in charge of leading it; besides, he was a brand-new believer and didn't know much about the Bible.
Nevertheless, after dinner that night, my friend made his way to the Bible study. When he arrived, the same inmate slipped an "Our Daily Bread" devotional into his hand and asked him to read it. Many of the men in the Bible study couldn't read or write, so he began to read aloud. That particular devotional was all about giving your heart to Jesus Christ. When he finished reading several men said, "We want to do that . . . but how do we do it?"
He wasn't quite sure what to say. And at that very moment, he was paged to come to the office wing of the prison. As he walked there he prayed, "Lord, help me provide an answer to these inmates who want to know You personally."
On his way back, an inmate standing nearby reached out and handed him a bookmark and said, "You might want to read this sometime." The bookmark was entitled "How to Be Saved," and it clearly outlined the steps and verses of Scripture for accepting Christ as Lord and Savior.
Suddenly equipped with exactly what he needed, he walked back to the Bible study and read each step on that little bookmark from "Admit you are a sinner" to "Ask Christ to be your Savior." Four inmates prayed to receive Christ that night!
When this newly converted inmate had a problem . . . God was ready with His provision.
It is little wonder that to this day, now released from prison, my friend continues to share the gospel of Christ with anyone who will listen.
Let's learn from his experience. Walking according to the Spirit is as much a work of God as becoming a Christian or leading someone else to faith in Christ.
When we, like this inmate, admit our helplessness to God, He accomplishes His desires, for His glory alone, in us and through us.
And His provision will always be just what we need, when we need it most. It might not be anything all that special to anyone else, but to us it will be unmistakable evidence that we are walking in the Spirit . . . even if it's nothing more than a little bookmark!
Prayer Point: Let's pray the simple but effective prayer that Charlie prayed: "Holy Spirit, work with me here!" But only pray for God's help if you're really ready for Him to use you . . . because He will!
Extra Refreshment: Romans 8.
We are all different people. We have different tastes, hobbies, ambitions, and convictions. Our diversity is seen from the food we eat to the places we vacation. But in the midst of all this diversity, there are a few tendencies we share in common that hinder our spiritual growth and vitality. In this eye-opening look at Paul’s exhortation to Philippian believers, Stephen exposes these tendencies and teaches us how to overcome them.
Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!