As I have had the privilege of ministering in churches in different countries, I can say with confidence that God is doing a great deal in the life of His Church. There seems to be such an increase in expectation and hunger, and a desperate desire for more. These are foundational works of grace that are keys to seeing the manifest power of God in the church to a much greater degree. But for us to truly see the outworking of God’s manifest power in our lives and in the life of the church, it is imperative that we learn to walk in the Spirit. Acts 1:8 tells us: “But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
How can we be witnesses to a dying world without the Holy Spirit? How can we move from one degree of glory to the next without the Holy Spirit? How can we live naturally supernatural lives without the Holy Spirit? The truth is, that it is not possible. 2 Tim. 3:1-5 speaks of life when we are left to our fleshly nature: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
If we desire more of God, it is crucial that we live our lives unto Jesus by ‘walking in the Spirit.’ This truth can completely change our Christian life and is essential to living the full life God is calling us to live. As we believe God is bringing us into a new season, we need more than ever to grasp this truth at the deepest level, both individually and corporately.
Most of us would agree that we can so easily slip into a place of thanking God for what He has done in the past, yet resist what He is doing in the present. By doing so, we develop a form of godliness but resist (in practice) the power of the Holy Spirit to effect ongoing change in us and through us. Let us remember what Paul says in 1 Cor. 4:20 :For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” And, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Sprit.” (Gal. 5:25)
Pleasing God is not a matter of doing good rather than bad, but of doing God’s will, not our own. What we refer to as ‘walking in the spirit’ is simply being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and doing God’s will rather than our own. The Holy Spirit will always point us to Jesus and His will. We often have good ideas, but it is sometimes these very good ideas that take us from the will of God. For example we might want to give someone a sizable gift of cash. It is, after all, biblical to give. But God might be doing something in that person that your giving would hinder. I remember a time when we were moving from Cape Town to Durban in South Africa. We needed quite a bit of money to cover the cost of the move. We prayed that God would confirm His will for us to move by providing the money. My brother-in-law, Craig, called us and, while it was not easy for him to share this with us, he said that he believed God had told him not to help us financially with this move. We were more than excited. You see, God provided another way which really was a confirmation to us. If Craig had given us the money, we might not have been sure of this move. It was God’s goodness and kindness to us to confirm this call through a seemingly much more difficult way. As part of the process of learning to hear God and learning to ‘walk in the Spirit’ it is a good idea to run your ‘good idea’s’ by someone more mature in the Lord, or even the elders of the church if it is a bigger decision. Not that they always get it right, but this serves as God’s safety net, especially as we are learning.
The more we grow in ‘walking in the Spirit’ the more the Holy Spirit will reveal Truth to us in many areas. For example:
- Truth about God
- Truth about ourselves
- Truth about the Word of God
- Truth about His Glory, His love, etc.
- Truth about the unity of His Spirit, etc.
Indeed, we need the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth and of Power, to come in power. By “power” we mean the ability to do, to act, to walk in, to live in. Consider the following summary points about how the power of the Holy spirit can be manifested and work in and through our lives:
- Power over the works of satan (1 John 3:8, Luke 10:17-20, 2 Cor. 10:3-6)
- Powerover sin (Romans 6)
- Power to be overcomers (1 John 5:1-4)
- Power to live the life God is calling us to live (Matthew 4:18-20)
- Power to do the works of God (John 14:120
- Power to love (1 Cor. 13)
- Power to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)
- Power to walk in freedom (Gal. 5:1-2 Romans 8:1-2)
- Power to witness (Acts 1:8)
- Power to pray (Romans 8:26)
- Power to be children of God (Romans 8:14-16)
These are but a few outworking of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
As individuals, as families, as local churches and as part of the bride of Christ, we need to constantly be growing in our ability to walk in step with the Holy Spirit. This will in turn cause us to grow into believers who naturally live power-filled, supernatural lives that bring the love and light of God to a dying world. May we become desperate with the desire for more of God. May we long deeply for the Holy Spirit to lead us every day and in every way to be lights in a dying world.