Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday's with Jesus #149

#149 "Spirit Walking"
May 27, 2008
"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." (Galatians 5: 16)
It was finally warm enough outside this morning to have my together time with God out on my patio. I've been watching the temperature most mornings and when I saw sixty three degrees on my WeatherBug, I grabbed my glasses, my Bible and my cup of coffee, of course, and headed out the door. For my friends in the south, you're used to these kinds of mornings. But for a Michigan girl....it was Heaven!!
It was quite windy and I could hear one of my all time favorite sounds, second only to the waves beating against the shoreline of my favorite beach. I heard the trees swaying back and forth, now full of leaves, and can I tell you...I just love that sound!
Lest you think I'm super-spiritual, I don't always equate everything I see or hear to heavenly matters. But as I listened in the quietness of the early morning, I was reminded of Christ's words in John Chapter 3, as He spoke to Nicodemus. "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."  I could hear the wind's sound, but truly couldn't tell where it came from or where it went after I saw the manifestation of it. Maybe back to those storehouses where the Bible says that God gathers the wind and the snow and the hail and the lightning.
I wasn't seeing the wind in those trees. I was seeing the manifestation of the wind. I was witnessing its effects. And according to Christ, so it is with the Holy Spirit. We can't see Him but we can be witnesses to His manifested presence. At the moment of our salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence on the inside of us. We are no longer controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit. (See Romans 8: 9) And the effects of the One who dwells within us will be seen in outward signs. 
In John 6: 63, Jesus said that His words are Spirit and they are life. From that I draw this conclusion: When we live in accordance with the Spirit, we are living according to the Word of God. The Bible says that we have our minds set on what the Spirit desires and we find the desires of His heart in His Word. This kind of living produces life and peace. (See Romans 8: 6) Walking in the other direction, according to the flesh, brings death. But Paul tells us to live by the Spirit, by implication then, according to the Word, and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh or our sinful nature. (See Galatians 5: 16) 
From His mouth, God breathes the wind of His Word and through submission to Him, we place ourselves under the Spirit's control. By His power we will manifest love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The fruit of the Spirit are those leaves and branches swaying back and forth in our lives. Those are the Spirit's manifestations evidenced in outward signs for all to see. The Spirit cannot be seen, but the evidence of His presence is visible in a life submitted to God and His Word.
You don't have to strain. You don't have to strive. You don't have to try and produce His fruit on your own. Christ is well pleased to blow His Spirit into your life. Let the Wind blow where it will. You are born of His Spirit. Stand in awe of the manifested presence of God.
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