WALKING IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

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“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25

The Damascus Road experience is a turning point in the life of Paul. This apostle becomes a changed man, a new creation, after His personal encounter with the Son of God. The Holy Spirit comes to live and dwell within him.

Paul is no longer controlled by his own worldly desires… self-led and self-empowered. He is now Spirit-led… devotedly obedient to the Spirit’s leadings. He walks by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). His life displays the indwelling presence of Christ with him. He models the love of Jesus. He evinces the Spirit’s fruit.

→   Have you taken the step of faith toward Christ and believed?  Are you walking in step with the Spirit?

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Paul immerses himself in his new life. This new life in Christ is marked by a divine calling and mission to follow the Great Commission… to preach the gospel beyond the borders of the Jewish nation… “to the ends of the earth”. He pursues this mission with a boldness and a passion so characteristic of his nature.

Yet it is Paul’s new nature, transformed by the Spirit at conversion. He is empowered for kingdom work. The Holy Spirit is essential for this apostle to be effective for the work God has called him to do. For kingdom work needs kingdom power to count for eternity.

→   Have you received the presence and power of Jesus through the Holy Spirit?  Are you living a transformed and empowered life?

“The churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.” – Acts 16:5

Over the course of his ministry life, Paul travels on three missionary journeys. He visits regions where the light of Christ has not yet reached. He lives a life led by the Holy Spirit. Paul is the light bearer, shining Christ’s light to the people living in darkness. He experiences great success in spreading the gospel and planting new churches… because the Lord is ever with him through His Spirit.

→   Is the light of the Spirit shining in your life?  Are you a light bearer to those living in darkness?

“After the Holy Spirit had prevented them from speaking the word in the province of Asia, they traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia. And when they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not permit them.” – Acts 16:6-7

Here, Paul is on his second missionary journey with his traveling companion Silas. Their travels take them through towns where Paul has already spread the good news on his first trip. They encourage the new believers along their way. Yet when they reach the border of Asia, the Spirit of Jesus divinely intercedes, cautioning them from journeying in that direction.

Paul discerns the Spirit’s guidance and heeds His warnings. The Spirit’s role is not only to guide, counsel, strengthen, comfort and encourage, but also to warn. He not only shows the path to follow but illuminates the paths not to be traveled. The Spirit warns against going along paths God will not bless or protect.

→   Are you discerning the Spirit’s warnings?  Are you heeding the cautions He so mercifully gives?

“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” – Acts 16:9-10

God’s itinerary differs from Paul’s. When Paul yields to the Spirit’s counsel, he receives a vision to validate this divine intervention. This apostle’s plan to open the eyes of the lost in Asia to the saving grace of Christ is redirected toward Macedonia. The Spirit leads them along this new path.

The sovereign will of God seems a mystery at times. Perhaps the people of Asia are not yet open and receptive to the gospel message. Or perhaps danger awaits these loyal missionaries beyond the border. Paul surrenders his plans to the Spirit’s wisdom and omniscience.

→   Are you following God’s perfect wisdom?  Are you seeking His sovereign will and path for your life?

“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you.’” – Acts 18:9-10

A vision from God confirms Paul’s mission. He is to continue to preach boldly about his mighty Savior. He is to share the hope in Christ without fear. For God’s protection is the heritage of the Lord’s servants (Isaiah 54:17). Paul remains zealously faithful to his divine mission… successfully leading many to salvation and spreading the good news “to the ends of the earth”.

→   Is your spiritual walk characterized by faith not fear?  Are you faithfully living out God’s mission and calling for your life?  Are you living a Spirit-led life?