Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Welcome to Day 325 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Matthew 8:34, “Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but
they begged him to go away and leave them alone.”
Matthew 9:18, “As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. ‘My daughter has just died,’ he said, ‘but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.'”
Matthew 10:19, “When they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
It’s easy when reading Matthew to read it as though this is one long series of events happening moment by moment rather than events happening over time. Matthew records events over a three-year period.
Matthew 10:2 states, “When they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
I wonder how that works… the Spirit of my Father speaking through me…
Is it specific to that circumstance? Do I have to be arrested in order for the Spirit of my Father to speak through me? Is that ongoing at all times? Or only certain circumstances that it turns on and off?
What does it look like to “walk in the Spirit?” Galatians 5.
Am I simply filled with the Spirit and it/he thereby just simply speaks through me? Do I have to consciously make the decision to walk in the Spirit or does it happen automatically?
These are the things I wonder about…
I do think there is a conscious decision that needs to be made. I know I choose my words. I choose how/where I walk, day in and day out.
I have a propensity to over-think things. Sometimes my ponderings get the best of me…
But I happen to think these are concepts worthy of pondering.
How am I going to teach others or model to others what it means or looks like to walk in the Spirit if I don’t know myself.
I certainly know what the “works of the flesh” look like (also Galatians 5). There is a long list that is quite the opposite of what it looks like to live according to the spirit.
Walking in the Spirit yields what is called the “fruit” of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The byproduct of living according to the Spirit or living a Spirit-filled life.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious…” (Galatians 5:19-21). “Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”
OK, that’s pretty clear. I know if I don’t do those things, I am more likely to be walking in the Spirit…
But what about my words as Jesus talked about?
Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Notice that sandwiched between the exhortation to build one another up and getting rid of anger, etc, there is a simple phrase, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”
When we tear others down, or walk in anger we grieve God’s heart.
So, by not tearing others down or allowing unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, I am increasing my odds that it actually is the Spirit speaking through me.
I certainly know when it’s not the Spirit speaking through me.
And so do you.
Lord give me words that would build others up! Help me to walk in the Spirit…