WALKING IN JESUS
IT'S NOT YOUR ACHIEVEMENT
1. When you became a Christian, apart from calling on God in your weakness, you did nothing to get your sins forgiven. In your weakness, God did it all and gave you a new life in Jesus. Your onward walk in the Spirit with Jesus needs to follow the same pattern: your weakness = you calling on the Holy Spirit, God's power for your life. The Bible teaches that when Jesus died on the cross your old life died with him. Read Romans Chapter 6. You are now "in Jesus" and your new life flows from him alone.
WRONG FUEL = NO PROGRESS
2. Trying to walk in your own strength will eventually lead to a sense of frustration and failure, because you can't do what you want to do. Imagine a friend has generously given you a new car to replace your old one. Your old car was petrol-driven, the new one runs on diesel fuel. What happens when you try to run your new car on petrol? The car might go for some distance with the wrong fuel inside, but will gradually come to a stop. Applying more petrol will not solve the problem! Only when the correct fuel - diesel - is put in, will the car move forward. In your new life in Jesus, the Holy Spirit's power is the only fuel that can move you forward. You will certainly fail if you insist on using your old fuel, "self-reliance". In the New Testament, Galatians 5:16, the apostle Paul says "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature".
WHEN YOU ARE OBEDIENT GOD PROVIDES THE RESOURCES
3. Living in the Spirit means actively trusting God's Holy Spirit, asking him to do in you what you cannot do for yourself. It doesn't mean being passive! God's call on your life is to obedience, which is an active choice of your will. The balance between exercising your will to be obedient and God's supply of His resources is what you should aim for. If, for example, you have a quick temper or a critical tongue, you need to remember that your old life is now dead and buried. Your old life died on the cross with Jesus. All your own efforts to deal with your temper, your tongue or whatever will sooner or later fail, because your new life can only be lived through Jesus. However, it's only by an act of your will that you choose, or not, to deal with the problem. So your will to deal with the issue on the one hand, together with God's supply of the enabling power on the other hand, combine to deal with the problem.
IF IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR MOSES....
4. One of the greatest miracles in the Bible was the parting of the Red Sea. Read it in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 14. The Israelites were trapped, with no way forward, but God did an amazing thing and rescued them from the Egyptian army. Moses told the people: "Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring today". The people chose to be obedient to God (they stood firm and trusted Him) and God supplied the miracle.
DON'T ASK FOR "PATIENCE", "HUMILITY" OR "LOVE"!
5. God is not a shopkeeper dispensing parcels of patience, humility, love or whatever as separate "things" to help us. He has given just one source to meet all our needs - Jesus. What we need is more of Jesus. Because Jesus is patient, humble, and loving he will meet your needs in all these areas of your life. So ask Jesus to be the answer to whatever your need is. His Holy Spirit will be your enabler.
This page © Brian Johnson
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