Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spiritual LIfe--Goals and Pace

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18

The promise contained in these verses that one can be completely free of the desires of the flesh by walking in the Spirit is truly remarkable. For those of us who have battled with our fleshly desires that are not born in God, this passage offers hope but it also raises a serious question.

What does it mean to “Walk in the Spirit..”?

I believe it means to spend each moment adjusting myself internally and externally to the goals and pace of Christ in me. That’s right, Jesus is continuously moving in us with clear goals and with a determined pace. Jesus may not be physically in the world, but He is in each believer and He is still walking among men through each disciple who walks in the Spirit.

Walking in the Spirit is learning to adjust myself continuously to the abundance of Jesus’ perfect presence in me by His Spirit. It means that I must continuously relate everything that is happening to me to Christ in me by His Spirit. When I do relate everything to Christ within by His Spirit, I get in sync with Jesus’ goals and pace. I walk in the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is in me to make this adjustment to Jesus possible and to release to me what I need in order to not need what the flesh is offering me. The Holy Spirit of God is in me to align me with the goals and the pace of God in Christ 24 hours a day, seven days a week and moment by moment. The Holy Spirit walks me into this adjustment.

Imagine you decide to walk an entire day with another person. They have agreed that you can accompany them as long as you truly want to do what they do and you understand that they have a busy agenda and a determined pace. You accept the conditions and off you go toward their goals and at their pace.

At first it is easy, but as the day progresses you find that you are being continuously invited to leave the person with whom you are walking and satisfy some other need the way you normally would. Eventually you discover that walking with another person who has a very specific agenda and pace in mind means you must continually submit to their goals and pace or walking with them just will not work.

This is how Jesus walked with His Father. When Jesus said he always did what pleased His father He was describing what it means to walk in the Spirit. God’s goals were His goals and God’s pace was His pace at all times.

We either walk in the Spirit or we walk in the flesh. We either conform to God’s goals and pace in Christ through the Spirit or we conform to the old goals and pace of our flesh. At any given moment I am either walking in the Spirit or I am walking in my flesh.

Over time it has become abundantly clear to me when I am in the Spirit and when I am in the flesh. The fruit just does not lie. The goals and the pace of Spirit are clear. The goals and pace of flesh are clear.

If you want to walk in the Spirit it is as simple as saying to Jesus who abides in you--”I will walk with you right now by your Spirit.” As the day moves along and the temptation comes back to fulfill your own desires first, just whisper the words “Jesus, I am entirely yours.” and walk where the Spirit is leading at Jesus' perfect pace for you.

Today we can make the goal and the pace of Jesus our goal and our pace. When we do this the fruit is true Spiritual Life. To be spiritual is to let the Spirit set your goal and your pace to those of Jesus moment by moment. What wonderful goals and what a wonderful pace await all those who walk in the Spirit.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Abide International is an organization dedicated to helping Christ-followers worldwide
understand and experience true satisfaction in Jesus as a moment by moment reality.

Abide International - 17701 N.W. 57th Avenue - Miami, FL 33055
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