Filled week 2
Key Text: Galatians 5:25
We are week two of a study on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
Last week we looked at what it looked like to be filled with the Spirit of God; how if you are a Christian then you have the Spirit of God. And if you have the Spirit of God then being filled is not gaining something you don’t have; it is surrendering to and being dependent upon the Spirits power and guidance in our life.
Now with that as a conclusion last week; it might have seemed a little up in the air and pie in the sky.
One must ask if we are to live out lives in dependency and surrender to the Spirit’s power in our lives what does that actually look like?
We will be reading from Galatians 5:25 reading from reading from verse 16.
I have titled this message keeping up, and as we read through this passage we will be asking the question what does it look like to walk in the Spirit? What does it practically look like to follow after the desire of the Spirit in our lives?
With this in mind let’s read:
16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other
So in reading this verse how do we understand this leading; is a still quiet voice is it a feeling is it more than that?
Well to understand what it is we need to look at what the verse is actually saying and that will be our guide. I believe that when we see what the verse is saying it becomes a greater guide to the overriding teaching on the leading of the Holy Spirit.
So what does this verse state the leading of the Holy Spirit looks like? In this context it is a following after the personality and passions and desires of the Spirit which are in conflict with the flesh.
In Romans the same reality is spoken about Rom 8:13-17
A leading of the Spirit is a subjection of our wills - by faith - to the guidance and desires of the Spirit.
What does that look like:
From the context of this verse we see that…
It is a moral conforming
What is very interesting in these verses is both of them talk about a leading of the Holy Spirit in contrast to what it looks like to live in the flesh.
The Spirit enables us to live lives that honour God; He bears fruit in our lives. He gives us the power to overcome the desires of the flesh.
The way that Paul illustrates what it looks like to be led by the Spirit is to contrast it with the works of the flesh.
Living in the flesh, Paul says, is obvious.
Paul also contrast the two realities of flesh and Spirit; the flesh he calls acts of the flesh and the Spirit he calls fruit of the Spirit.
One is from our nature; birthed in us; and one is a product of the Spirit in us birthed from Him.
The Spirit of God, however, makes us able to follow the desires of God for our lives. He produces fruit of His presence in our lives.
They are a product of His character and His desires, yet they are made manifest in our lives.
To put this is simple terms to be led by the Spirit is being transformed more and more into someone who acts like Christ.
The obvious question is will we still sin? Yes. Can we still fall into new sins? Absolutely. However the leading of the Spirit is a constant and persistent growing in your faith.
To be led by the Spirit is to be supernaturally empowered to overcome sinfulness and selfishness and the power to live more and more for God.
We need that power in our lives!
I want to encourage you tonight; if you feel stuck in your Christian life; like you have experienced no growth and that you have a sin that you truly are struggling with; look at your life a year ago and see if there has been growth. If the Spirit is in you there is growth.
Now if there is a sin; trust and allow His power to help you overcome that! Ask yourself tonight is He enough for you to overcome; the answer is yes!
So the greatest way we walk in the Spirit is to actually allow ourselves to be conform to His moral stature.
Not only that but being led by the Spirit
It is a Biblical conforming
A second aspect that needs to be covered is the reality that the Spirit will lead us is the leading us to all truth.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The Spirit will lead us to all truth; the Scriptures are the revealed will of God and His truth; therefore the Spirit leads us to Biblical conformation.
In other words; the Spirit makes us alive to the Scripture and the Scriptures alive to us.
I don’t know if you experiences this; but before you were a Christian you would read scripture and it would just be absolutely lifeless and powerless. Then you encountered Christ and all of a sudden the Scriptures made sense. They felt like for the first time they were written for you.
And in this all of a sudden they meant something to you and so you started to conform your life to them. Once you did not want to get baptised then you read about it in scripture and all of a sudden you need to get baptised.
This is the Spirit’s leading.
I truly believe that as we fill our hearts and minds with Scripture so we are better equipped to hear the leading of the Spirit. For the Bible is the revealed will of God and so it will guide us in clarity.
I remember a time when we as a family were going through a tough time and I kinda got into a fight with God. I remember I was on the way to the church and complaining how he hadn’t given me what I need and how my car was breaking and he had abandoned me and in the middle of my rant these verse of Scripture flooded my mind.
I confessed my sin and was humbled in that moment. But as I reflected on that moment I realised that I not known the Scriptures I would not have been sure that God was speaking to me.
Many people I have read and researched this week connect the leading of the Holy Spirit with an intuition and an inner voice. My issue with this is how do we know when it is us or the Spirit, and to add to this that the Bible states that the heart of man is desperately wicked and cannot be trusted.
So do I risk sometimes my intuition being God but other times it might be my heart which is wicked!
It seems to hit and miss to me. And I believe Scripture is telling us that it doesn’t have to be.
For God has recorded His Words for us; we know His heart, His will, His truth and then we have the Spirit of God who will make that truth alive for us in those moments that we need it.
But how can we know it is God unless we are familiar with His Words?
I fundamentally believe that the Holy Spirit desires to lead us and guide us; I fundamentally know that He does that by supernatural means; but I also know that I have a heart that longs to go its own way. I know that my heart betrays me.
So I must trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit personally; however that is always in confirmation to the truth revealed in His Word!
And so when we have these two realities understood and applied that it is
In this we walk
If our lives are being spiritually; morally and ethically conformed into the desires of the Spirit; and if we are being moulded biblically more and more. Then through these things as our guide the Spirit moves us in all our ways.
I really believe that the Spirit want to lead us moment by moment. The power of the Spirit is more than we need to be changed and the Hope that He implants in our lives is sufficient to carry us through all circumstances.
He is with us now! He is in you now! He is leading you now! The conformity to that leading and power lies in your ability to trust Him, to obey Him and to seek Him in the Word!
Just think about it if we are not guided by His obvious truth (which is the Scriptures) how can we then trust subtle truth (His moment by moment guiding).
One needs to precede the other.
We need to fall deeper into desperation on His Word and His work in our lives and then more and more we will find ourselves in the moments of our lives being lead more and more.
Over the last 5 week our family has gone through a very tough time; with sickness and stress and just all-round terribleness! However in Spite of this; and in spite not having a feeling of His leading there was as we look back an incredible reality of His leading. He has through these moment being conforming Nats and I more into who He desires us to be.
And over and over the truth of Scripture and the hope of who He is and been the guide; and in that moment by moment He has been leading us.
And so I want to encourage you church; the Spirit of God is leading you if you are a child of God! He is with you in your situation and is slowly changing you from glory to glory.
This unfortunately is not always easy or painless; but He is still with us.
The Spirit of God is still guiding you; how do you keep up? Humbly conform yourself to His desire for your morally, spiritually and ethically, keep yourself in the Word so you know who He is and His will, and in that we can trust His leading.
God is with us church; the Holy Spirit is in us; are we hungry to know Him and His will; which is freely available to us?
I pray that His power and guiding would become more and more real even this week as you seek after Him and fill your life with His Word and His truth!