Sunday, October 4, 2009

Walk By The Spirit

All these sermons on rules, principles and behavior change are killing us! Jesus' voice is being drowned out by what men are telling us to do. We are setting aside intimacy with the Holy Spirit living in us, so we can listen to men tell us how to live, what to do, what's right and what's wrong.

This is utter nonsense! Stop listening to what men tell you so that you can learn to hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit! God has made His home in your very body. Talk about closeness! Talk about intimacy!

In the physical way that a man and woman have intimacy, that one comes inside another, and they are made into one body, so Jesus, by the Spirit has come into us and we have become one spirit with Him.

We are blinding ourselves from the realness of His Spirit living in us by insisting that we listen to men and follow their teachings, their ways of managing sin, their strategies, their techniques.

"They made kings, but not through Me. They set up princes, but I knew it not." (Hosea 8:4)

People have devoted their lives to setting up ministries, telling people how they ought to live rather than pointing them to the One who dwells in them. You can not live up to man's expectations. Their rules are heavy and burdensome and give you no provision for living up to the expectations they give to you, save the advice of, "Just try harder!"

I tell you, Jesus does not expect righteousness to come from you, which is precisely why He died for you. He died so that He could give you His righteousness instead. So let go of the ever-present anxiety and feelings of inadequecy. Of course you're inadequate! What did you expect? Don't you remember how you were saved to begin with? You were inadequate! You could not attain righteousness by the law and God turned the light on and revealed grace to you.

So rest in His gift and give up the circus act of guilt and false humility so that you can learn to hear His voice! As Joseph Prince rightly said, "God's voice is not on the frequency of condemnation." Nor is it on the frequency of what most would call, "conviction". Conviction is for the guilty, and you my friend are no longer guilty! You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Well, I guess there is conviction, but it is not of your sin. It is of your righteousness in Christ.

7 comments:

sparrow girl said...

Can you give a one-sentence definition of "walking by the Spirit"? That's one of the things I've been thinking about lately. Are you saying it basically means walking in friendship and communion with the Spirit?

Matthew Campbell said...

Pretty much. :)

It's not living by rules or laws or man-made ways to achieve holiness. It's dependence on the Holy Spirit, trusting Him to lead us and not trying to devise ways to get our flesh to look pretty.

It's being free and trusting in Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.

The thing about this is transformation can be slower than we want it to be, so we shouldn't focus on our behavior, but we should rather focus on the Lover of our souls. He isn't impatient, worrying whether or not we're holy enough. He made us holy forever by one sacrifice. "Through the obedience of the One Man, the many were made righteous."

Until you are set free from and law mentality, you CANNOT be led by the Spirit.

Daveda said...

Amen!! I agree. We seem to think that faster is better, but its not. The work of the Spirit takes time, but the fruit is so much better!

Stephanie said...

Walking with Jesus is about listening to sermon revealing the beauty of Jesus and believing it. As you believe, your heart is renewed to think like Him.

Pastor Prince ministry is to reveal Jesus. He is from New Creation Church, Singapore. You can catch him in most christian cable tv.

Matthew Campbell said...

Hey Stephanie. :)

I totally agree. Sermons should be about Jesus, and not endless lessons on how to behave yourself. Good grief! We need to allow the Spirit to work in us! It's ALL by grace.

Do you attend New Creation Church? Prehaps I have seen you on TV sometime. I record his show every weekday and watch them. :)

sparrow girl said...

So walking by the Spirit is not really about outward behavior but more about Him loving us and nourishing us with His life, then. He takes care of outward change. We don't think about that, we're caught up in enjoying Him. What do you think?

Matthew Campbell said...

I think you're right on the money. Jesus hinted at that I believe when He said,

"Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, who clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. You blind fools! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? First clean the inside of the cup that the outside may be clean also."

Jesus is saying if that if we get ourselves clean on the inside, the outside will take care of itself. He also said whoever feeds on Him will live because of Him. So what is our job? To feed off of Him. To receive His grace and His life.