As a person, I am prone to making mistakes. Most of the time these mistakes happen and when I look back I know that I should not have done them. I can think of all the scripture that tells me I have not acted in the way that God would want me to act, and I am always remorseful for it and I am quick to ask for forgiveness. I am so glad that we serve a loving God that is quick to forgive because I seem to need it A LOT! As I read and re-read God’s word I become more and more aware of all the places where I fall short of God’s glory, love, grace, and blessings, but at the same time, I become more and more hungry to change myself to please him and meet his desires for my heart. I am reminded of a Wednesday night service when CR challenged us to really STUDY and meditate on Romans 12:9-21 and how convicted I became about this part of scripture. In the NKJV, this is titled “Behave Like a Christian”. If you have not read this lately, take a look at it and then re-read it every single day for a while until you feel like it has settled in your heart! WOW that is some powerful STUFF! Powerful and difficult to live by at times given my human nature and propensity for fierce defense of people that I love. Especially when coupled with my heightened tendency to vocalize exactly how I feel and what I think…good, bad, and/or ugly. You see the world tells us that we have the right to “express ourselves”, to “defend ourselves”, to “stand up for ourselves”! TV glorifies the mockery and mistreatment of others and the importance of revenge and getting even. Fighting fire with FIRE!
This brings me to the next part of scripture I have been studying and that is the presence and purpose of The Holy Spirit in our lives. In the Gospel according to John, he describes the teachings of the coming of the Holy Spirit by Jesus. In John 16:5-15, Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the spirit of Truth. Jesus explains to the disciples that he is leaving to be with The Father so that the Spirit of truth can come and live within us. The Spirit of truth comes to guide us and to REVEAL to us the words and promises of The Father by Jesus. The Spirit brings us close to The Father while living in a world that is dominated by Sin. The Bible gives us a huge laundry list of things that the Spirit does for us. In Romans, Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit was sent to live within our hearts to combat the sinful nature. (Romans 8:2-6) Also, in Romans Paul explains that the Spirit intercedes for us in weakness (Romans 8:26) and guides our prayers when we are unsure what we need to say or ask for. Throughout the book of Acts, we see that the Holy Spirit anoints us with spiritual powers, gifts, and strength. Another very important things that the Spirit gives us is the courage and power to rebuke Satan from our lives and the lives of our loved ones (Matthew 3:3). And finally Galatians 5:22-23 Paul describes for us the Fruits of the Spirit…these things such as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. YES PLEASE I WOULD LOVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF ALL OF THAT! These are the attributes of a person who is WALKING in the Spirit.
So as I embark on this week, I pray that I will walk in the Spirit. That I will be lead by the Holy Spirit in my heart which produces the fruits of kindness, gentleness, love, peace, joy and most importantly, SELF CONTROL! I know that God is training and disciplining me to study more, practice more, witness more, and always to be a better servant. It is always my prayer that he continues to reveal to me my shortcomings and that he makes me a better servant to his kingdom. Jesus came to this world not to judge the world but to save the world and, PRAISE GOD, he made the ultimate sacrifice that I might live a life free from the burden of sin. I ask you today: Are you studying God’s word? Are you walking in the Spirit? Are you checking your actions against the life of Christ? Are you producing the Fruits of the Spirit? Are you “Behaving Like a Christian?”