One of the things I desire to do as a follower of Christ is to “Walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16 ESV; Romans 8:4ESV) and not walk according to my sinful, fleshly desires. This hit me awhile back as I was writing my first book and I took an entire chapter to discuss the importance of walking in the Spirit. Here is a snippet:
“I fear that we [most Christians] have lost touch with the reality of the Holy Spirit and His power in our lives. It’s like we have this huge power source that we don’t tap into. We allow ourselves to run on candle light when we could turn on our lights with electricity instead.
That scenario sounds ludicrous, because it is. However, when we don’t open our lives for God the Holy Spirit to enter and change us, we are simply people trying to “do” this Christian life with no power. Brennan Manning is coined for saying: “If all we do is do, all we do is dodo”. Meaning if all we do in our lives is try to do, it will all end up being junk in the end. This goes for the lives of teens as well.
If we teach them to keep on keeping on by themselves sans the Holy Spirit, they will strive and strive and go nowhere in their relationships with God and others. This then will create disillusionment, discontentment and a bitter taste of God in their mouths. When we teach our teens to “do” the Christian life without the Holy Spirit, we are teaching religion. Young men and women are tired of religion because it creates so much havoc. They need a relationship.” (Pinocchio Vs. The Real Boy- Chapter 6)
I believe this lack of teaching on the Holy Spirit and our yielding over to him has turned many a Christian into one of these two things: A.) Prideful- because by their good doing, they think they’ve “arrived” or
B.) Saddened by their inability to measure up, so they leave the church.
The teaching on and the living by the Holy Spirit is crucial to the life of a believer. We do not have a religion that forces us to do good things. Rather, we have a good Father who has provided us with the Holy Spirit, who when yielded to will create within us the desire to do what is right because He is daily Sanctifying us, and He is daily transforming us.
The questions we must ask of ourselves then is this: “Am I living a life yielded to the Holy Spirit?” and “Am I teaching by word and action to my children (or my community) what it means to be yielded over to the Holy Spirit?”
Part of our sin nature wants us to remain as we are, our flesh wages constant war upon us to reject our yielding to the Holy Spirit. Christ has died for our sins folks! It’s done, His Blood has given us the power to conquer Satan, sin and death. Must we repent and turn from our sins? YES! We also must then yield our lives to the Spirit and allow Him to guide our lives through the Word and through Prayer!
Some of you reading this may ask: how do I know if I’m living a yielded life? What does it look like essentially? A couple things happen: The Holy Spirit reveals our sin, especially the buried-covered-up-even- to-our-eyes sins. Next, we feel a deep desire to change, then third, we give up control of our desires, future, pains and dreams over to the Spirit and lastly we listen to His Voice through the Word and in Prayer.
Here’s another excerpt from Pinocchio Vs. The Real Boy- Chapter 6
“How do we even realize we have junk and sin and pain and emotional trash in our lives? The Holy Spirit reveals it to us. Think also of Pinocchio, he was unaware of his wooden living, he was woefully unaware of his shortcomings and wrongdoings. He needed a revealer to show him his mess-ups and junk in his life. That task fell to Jiminy Cricket who found himself badgering Pinocchio about his wrongdoings. Jiminy was there to keep Pinocchio on the journey of becoming a real boy but found himself being ignored. This is a similar role of the Holy Spirit to us, he reveals the stuff laid deep in our hearts and calls us to repentance. The Holy Spirit is the one who lives in us to cause us to become real”.
Are you hearing what the Lord is revealing to you? How can you yield more of yourself to the Spirit of God?
ACAC Middle School Pastor