Thursday, September 1, 2011

Following His lead

"So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses." Galatians 5:16-18

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things." Galatians 5:22-23

"No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Oh my, our flesh is always at war with the Spirit's calling, isn't it? Sure, we hear Him. We know what we are to do, but we simply can't. Oh, we can, but maybe we just don't want to. Been there?

It's hard to admit when we are wrong, isn't it? We always want to be right. There's that pride sneaking up again. So often, all it takes for a situation to have peace is for one person to say, "I am so sorry. I was wrong." Now, we can't control what that other person may say, but we can control our actions. If we would only follow the Spirit's leading instead of rushing out there and standing in our own way. You know, we really can be our own worst enemy.

When people are mean, what do we want to do in return? Be mean. But that is that ugly flesh. People cannot see Christ living in us if we allow our flesh to control our every emotion and action. If we shift our focus off of our pride and fix our gaze on Jesus, well, everything is different. Love begins to flow outward and inward we now have a peace we never knew existed.

We are called to be humble. That isn't always easy, but in doing so we surrender our flesh to the Lord. We are called to live mercy. When we have compassion for others and see others needs before our own, it has a way of changing us. It's no longer about ME. We are called to do what is right. I cannot tell you how many times I thought I was doing what was right. Sure, in my heart it might have felt right. My intentions may have been honorable, but the way I approached the situation was wrong. My words were not spoken in love, but in anger. It's amazing what just a little anger can do. It spreads like wild fire and it takes a washing of God's grace to distinguish the flames.

God will NEVER lead me astray. He will NEVER ask of me more than I can give through His strength. This life is not about ME. Oh, we make it about us, don't we? We feel this or we feel that. Gosh, if we didn't let our feelings get in the way of relationships just think of the possibilities. God wants to move through us. He wants to love through us. He wants us to be His hands and feet. If we are always trying to do the leading we are going to miss out on the blessings He has for us. I cannot tell you how many times I have tripped over my own two feet and some how one of those feet always ends up in my mouth!

We can't show love if we aren't able to carry joy in our heart. Peace brings patience to every situation. Goodness flows from kindness. When we are faithful we tend to be gentle to those around us. The amazing thing is, we cannot have any of this fruit unless we have self-control. They all go hand in hand with one another. Isn't it amazing how God has gloriously laid these things out before us? All we have to do is follow His guidance.

So friends, whatever your facing today, fix your gaze upon the Lord. Set your feet upon the right path. Allow Him to do the leading for once. In doing so it will be the greatest dance ever. Sure, we may have two left feet, but if we allow the Lord to lead, we will find joy in each and every step.

"Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You." Psalm 25:4-5
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