From the Pastors Desk
Take some time and read Dr. Larry Richard’s insightful comments on our text for this Sunday, in his book “The 365 Day Devotional Commentary.” They are worth soaking in:
In Step with the Spirit
It’s such a dazzling prospect! To be free to serve one another in love. To be free from the crushing demands of our sinful nature. To be free to experience love, joy, peace, patience—all those things Paul said the Holy Spirit produces in the believer.
But how disappointed many Christians are as they catch a vision of what can be—and tremble to realize that as far as they are concerned, it is not. How disappointing to want the kind of life Paul described here, fail to find it, and never realize why.
I suspect for many of us the reason why is given in the little phrase in verse 25: “Keep in step with the Spirit.” If you were in the army, you might hear a sergeant shouting it at you. “Keep in step, Recruit! Move it!”
Some folks interpret a legalistic life as a life of trying, and the Spirit-filled life as a life of resting. They wait for the Holy Spirit to direct them. And, all too often, if they don’t feel the Spirit moving, they just sit.
Paul said, “Keep in step with the Spirit.” Don’t sit down. Don’t wait for the Spirit to tap you on the shoulder and point. Move it!
Paul told the same thing in other ways. We’re to “use” our freedom to serve one another (v. 13). Right there we have the Spirit’s marching orders. We don’t need to wait for further instructions. We simply need to get out and start serving! “The only thing that counts,” Paul said earlier, “is faith expressing itself through love” (v. 6).
Again we see the same emphasis. Faith must express itself. Faith is active. It moves! Faith doesn’t sit around waiting. God has work for us to do, and if we really trust God to work in us, we naturally get up and get at it!
It seems so simple. And yet so many of us miss it. Do you believe God’s Spirit lives in you? Do you believe He is able to work through you? Then show your faith by stepping out to serve others in love, and in the serving you will experience the Spirit’s power. And in the serving you will find your own character transformed.
God’s Spirit is at work in the world today. Keep in step with Him.
“Every time we say, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit,’ we mean that we believe there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.”—J.B. Phillips
See You Sunday,