Theme. Walking by the Holy Spirit”.
As we continue to focus our minds on the work of Holy Spirit in Acts, this September I would like to reflect on “Walking by the Holy Spirit”. The five things that I would like to reflect on are:
- Acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and others
- Pray that the Holy Spirit my lead you and others to share the Good News
- Trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to transform your life and others
- Act in obedience of the Holy Spirit
- Thank God for giving us the Holy Spirit
I would like to summarize “Walking by the Holy Spirit” by mentioning that what we know by objective experience of the Holy Spirit in our lives must be the good news of our subjective experience of what the Holy Spirit is doing, so that it can be said that we have tasted walking by the Holy Spirit.
Acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and others
First, we must acknowledge from our hearts that we are helpless to do anything well apart from the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:1-19.
What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
- The Word of Knowledge
- The Word of Wisdom
- The Gift of Prophecy
- The Gift of Faith
- The Gifts of Healings
- The Working of Miracles
- The Discerning of Spirits
- Different Kinds of Tongues
- The Interpretation of Tongues.
As Paul says in Romans 7:18, “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing.” What did Jesus mean when he said in John 15:5, “Without me you can do nothing”? Of course we can do something without Jesus: we can sin! But that’s all we can do. So, the first step of walking by the Spirit is: admit this fact and let it have its positive effect on your fear and pride. We cannot do anything pleasing to God without the constant walking in the power of the Spirit.
Why is it important folks that we take on board the challenge of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit?
Pray that the Holy Spirit my lead you and others to share the Good News.
You may be aware that Acholi London Christina Fellowship started in 1996.
I remember very well, it was after my prayer and reflection about the poem I wrote in June that year; “An Awesome thought”. God willing this will appear in our next Bulletin.
I am aware that all biblical promises are true. For example, it is promised in Ezekiel 36:27 that God will put his Spirit within us and cause us to walk in his statutes, pray that he do it to you by his almighty power. Many of you know the glorious, liberating experience of having an irresistible desire for sin overcome by a new and stronger desire for God and his way. Recently, I witnessed the preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit. On Sunday 9th August at Our Lady and St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church-Kingsland 100A Bolls Pond Road, London N1 4AG, the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly in the sermon and echoed that we must all learn to forgive ourselves and others and forget the past.
I know that God has forgiven me my past, present and future. So, I am freed and have an opened mind to receive the blessings and any rebuke from the Holy Spirit. After the service, the Holy Spirit followed us in the reception Hall. And you know what? The Holy Spirit exposed the devil. Let me ask you this personal question here, as you look back. To whom do you attribute that new desire to love and obey God? Where did it come from? Let me tell you, because it I don’t tell you who will tell you? The merciful Holy Spirit revealed to me afresh on Sunday 9th August 2015 that I must learn to pray to forgive all and trust Him to continue to change me every day I walk this earth to confess my sins and love to care and forgive. The same Holy Spirit gave birth to Acholi London Christian Fellowship in 1996. This is the taste of “Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, let us pray like Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 for that chief fruit of the Spirit: “Now may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men.” And let’s pray like the writer to the Hebrews did in Hebrews 13:21, “And now may the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ. If it is God alone who works in us what is pleasing in His sight, then above all, we must pray. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Do you really hear, see and trust what the Holy Spirit is saying today? Rev. 3:14-153.
Trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to transform your life and others
The third step involved in walking by the Spirit is faith. We must believe that since we have come under the gracious sway of God’s Spirit, “sin will no longer have dominion over us” (Romans 6:14). This confidence is what Paul meant by “reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God” (Romans 6:11). We simply count on it that the Spirit who made us alive when we were dead in sin wills our holiness and has the power to achieve what he wills. You may remember in one of my sermons on prayer I said that one of the things we believers can pray for with undoubting faith that God will do it is our double blessing, which is the same as being filled and led by the Holy Spirit.
The reason we can is that we know that God will cause his children to be led by the Spirit. And the way we know this is because of Romans 8:14, where Paul says you can’t even be a child of God unless you are filled and led by the Holy Spirit. “For as many as are filled and led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons and daughters of God (in italics are mine).” If you are a child of God, you have a solid and unshakable promise that God will give you victory over those powerful desires of the flesh. One word of wisdom: do not prejudge and resist the timing and work of the Holy Spirit. Why he liberates one person overnight but brings another to freedom through months of struggle is a mystery concealed for now from our eyes.
In this struggle of “Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit,” what should we do?
Act in obedience of the Holy Spirit
The fourth step in walking by the Spirit after you have acknowledged your helplessness without him, pray for his power to set you free, and trust in his deliverance is to act the way you know is right. Notice: this is not step number one. If this were step number one, all our actions would be works of the flesh, not fruit of the Spirit. Only after we have appealed for the Spirit’s blessings and thrown ourselves confidently on his promise and power to work in us, do we now work with all our might. Only when we act with that spiritual preparation, will we be able to say with Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:10,”By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me.”Or in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (see also Romans 15:18, 19).
A person who has acknowledged his helplessness, prayed for God’s blessing to do right, and yielded himself confidently to the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit has this astonishing incentive to do righteousness, namely, the confidence that, whatever righteous act he does, it is God almighty who is at work in him giving him the will and the power to do it. It is a sign of quick bias when a person says, “Well, if the Spirit is sovereign and I can’t do any good without his blessings, then I may as well just sit here and do nothing.
There are two things unwise with that statement: it is self-contradictory, and it is unbiblical. It is a contradiction to say, “I’ll just sit here and protect my little faith and do nothing.” If you choose to sit in your chair while the house burns down, you have chosen to do something, just as much as the person who chooses to get up and save himself and others.
“Why should you think the one choice any more inconsistent with the sovereignty of God than the other? And such a statement is also unbiblical because Philippians 2:12 and 13 says, Beloved, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (get out of the chair, the house on fire!) because ( not “in spite of” but “because” )God is at work in you to will both to work for his good pleasure.
It is a great incentive, brothers and sisters here in Acholi London Christian Fellowship, not discouragement, that all our effort to do what is right is the work of almighty God within us. At least for myself, I am greatly encouraged when the going gets rough that any effort I make to do right is a sign of God’s grace at work in me. “Let him who serves serve in the strength which God supplies, that in everything God may get the glory” (1 Peter 4:11). To God be the glory!
Thank God for giving us the Holy Spirit
The final step in walking by the Spirit is to thank God for any desirable quality attained or any good deed performed. If without the Spirit we can do no right, then we must not only ask his blessing for it but also thank him whenever we do it. Just one example from 2 Corinthians 8:16. Paul says, “Thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.” Titus loved the Corinthians. Where did that come from?
God put it in his heart. It was a fruit of the Spirit. So what does Paul do?
He thanks God. And Titus should, too. Thanks be to God who puts love and care in our hearts!
If we live by the Spirit, then let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us acknowledge from our heart that we are unable to please God without the Spirit’s constant blessing. Let us pray for that blessing. Let us trust confidently in the Spirit’s power and promise to give us that peace which the world cannot give.
Then let us do what we know is right. And having done it, let us turn and say with all the saints, “Not I, but the Spirit of Christ within me.” Thanks be to God! To him be glory for ever and ever!