Spirit Lead Me

Reading in Romans 8 Paul spends a lot of time talking about our mindset between walking in the spirit versus walking in the flesh. Naturally, when we are interacting with people our flesh is constantly there interpreting thoughts, motives, attitudes and offenses so this has the opportunity to keep our minds operating in a fleshly mindset, but Paul encourages us to reach past the flesh and strive to live in a spirit-minded way. This sounds super-spiritual, but what does this mean practically? It means that when we are tempted to get offended, or when we try to take control of things, or of other people that are not our responsibility, or when we try to manipulate situations and we allow our fleshly emotions start to speaking nonsense to us, we have to stop ourselves and ask Holy Spirit to show us truth about each situation and change our mindset. We can’t respond appropriately until we first address our mindset by asking Holy Spirit to show us what we need to see about a situation. This might mean that we stop for a moment and pray with or for the person who is just having a bad day and might be taking it out on us. This might mean that we give ourselves a little heart-check because we got offended by something someone said or did. Then there is the reality that sometimes people really do come against us and it’s not our imagination. God still expects us to respond in obedience to Him. This is where we lay out the problem before Him and ask Him to give us the wisdom and the power to respond with integrity so that God can then move on our behalf. As I was reading this, I was struck with the very real truth that the believers that Paul was talking to were going through very real persecution for simply being Jesus-followers. We live in America where we are free to worship Jesus and we demand our rights to do so but this is not the experience that the early church had. They were faced with the possibility of beatings, imprisonment and even death just for being part of this church move that they called “The Way”. I don’t want to get into comparisons because we shouldn’t feel guilt that we are not being persecuted this way. We are so blessed to live in the country that we do. We just have to remind ourselves that when we face opposition that we are not supposed to fight those battles with our own fleshly thoughts, ideas and emotions. We need to take each and every battle to Jesus and ask Him what he wants us to do with it. Walking in the spirit simply means that we surrender our “rights” (which goes completely against the grain of American culture) and we place ourselves in complete surrender to Jesus, not people. When we are completely surrendered to Jesus, He is able to do through us and in us, what we can’t do on our own. I love that Paul ended this chapter with these powerful words. “For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

Leave a Reply