Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1 – Get out of the way

The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63 HCSB)

I can remember moments of reading the Bible when it felt as if a huge curtain was being pulled aside before my eyes.  All of a sudden things made sense, God’s voice was clear and practical so that I knew just what to do, but it was also deep and unexplainably transforming.  I’d feel a huge shift inside of me just because of that revelation, it was a joy and a conviction that I hadn’t fabricated on my own.  Someone was pulling me closer to Him right then.  It was the Holy Spirit.  

This happened even before I was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  In those days I didn’t even know about the baptism the way I understand it now.  All I knew was I wanted to know God deeply, and it was all that would occupy my mind.  Those “aha” moments of hearing the Holy Spirit speak started happening more often, because I allowed those revelations to change me every time.  I treated His word with an excitement and reverence.  No one had to create a church program or fast or special event for me to have a hunger for God.  As I kept yearning and seeking, it was just a matter of time before I was transformed and received His baptism.  

The Holy Spirit speaks to us all to create new life in us on a daily basis.  But how we respond to His voice determines everything.  We could dismiss what He says as undoable, or even agree with His urging at the moment and then casually toss it into the recycling bin of our brain a moment later.  The more we put Him off, the less we hear Him.  He keeps speaking but we dull our ears.  We allow exactly what this verse says, “The flesh doesn’t help at all.” 

The words of God are spirit.  The Bible is alive, living and active - a double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).  There is no book you own that has life and spirit like the word of God.  And yet, it cannot be understood by your flesh.  Your spirit needs to reach out to God’s Spirit, to the spirit in His words.  This is what gives you life.

Just as I have loved those moments of hearing and receiving directly from Him, I know that I’ve also wasted time trying to listen to Him in my flesh.  I’d feel frustrated and bored, and preferred to turn my attention to more enjoyable things.  

Now that we have a fast of Daniel to enjoy and share together, don’t think that just because you’re avoiding secular media you deserve a pat on the back for your great “sacrifice.”  This isn’t about you or your flesh or how impressed you are with your holiness.  It’s about setting your eyes on Him, and hungering after His Spirit.  In a few weeks time you could be so transformed that you’ll never want to go back to the way you are right now.  Get your flesh out of the way, it doesn’t help at all.

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