Once in a while I come across a blog that blows me away and that was definitely the story when I stumbled across HeInspiredMe.com.
Over the past few months I have fallen in love with Andrew’s clear and informative writing style and his ability to create serious, yet easily digestible content. Also, he is totally a rock star at utilizing scripture to encourage his readers to root their life in Jesus. One of my favorite posts of his talks about Valuing Your Morning with God. Oh and definitely check out his awesome series on the disciples! Follow Andrew on Facebook and Twitter and consider subscribing to his posts.
I am so thankful to have made a new friend in Andrew. Enjoy his wonderful post: Are You Living With the Spirit?
Most of us have experienced that moment when we realize that we need God; we discover our own sinfulness and God’s grace.
I lived that in the 7th grade while waiting for a school bus. God’s grace overwhelmed me and my spirit was born again! Now, some 10+ years later, I find myself falling for the same deception that the Galatians fell for. What God began with His spirit, I try to manage in my flesh.
Have you fallen for this deception?
Paul and Confrontation
Paul was a master at cutting to the heart of an issue. In fact, most of his letters are written to a body of believers with 2 main goals: encouraging the believers and bringing them correction. He was excellent at complimenting before teaching.
The Galatians, however, received no such softness. Paul begins his letter to them quite directly:
“I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth.” -Galatians 1:6
Why So Serious?
Paul is worried about this body of believers that he helped start. He had seen some of them come to faith and it grieved him to see them falling away from the Gospel. He wants them to be able to say as he later says to Timothy:
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Paul recognized the struggle they are facing. It’s easy to become trapped in the lie that we have to continue the race on our own. His own words to the Corinthians could be misinterpreted to emphasize our fleshly efforts.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” –1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:3
Ouch. I mean, that seriously had to sting a bit. Can you imagine receiving that message from your mentor? But Paul had come from the life of living under the law and knew it’s deadly, life-sucking effects. His strong words were purposeful, a way of startling the readers and opening their eyes to a lie.
Simply stated, Paul wanted to live a godly life and do the ministry that Jesus called him to.
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” -Acts 20:2
Look in the Mirror
Please don’t walk away from this post without taking a serious moment to reflect on your own state. Consider the following questions:
Are you living in the strength of your flesh or the spirit?
Do you rely on God’s spirit daily or do days pass without thinking about the power and grace of His spirit?
Do these words from the author of Hebrews ring true to you?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:1-2
Don’t Leave Without Saying Hi!
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