Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spirit Life

I believe that many times people get discouraged and lose sight of the Christ’s involvement in our lives. The scripture speaks of Christ as our advocate, our help in times of trouble, the wellspring of life and the one who gives us power. There is a battle to see through the distractions of life and to comprehend how much God is involved with us every day. Jesus spoke to His disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit and he would empower them and comfort them. It is imperative that we are a people of the Spirit. It is when we listen to the Spirit that we gain perspective and insight to the world around us. His role is to lead us into truth and to steer us into the mission that Christ has for us. We become a people of the Spirit when we take on the priorities of the Spirit. George Swinnock, an early American church leader (1623‑1673) wrote, “The main work which God commands and commends to the children of men, is to glorify him upon the earth by exercising themselves to godliness. What is godliness? Godliness is a worshiping the true God in heart and life according to his revealed will.” Worship is more than a song service but how we conduct all of our affairs. Jesus would allude that the father was looking for something more than a religious people when He said, “an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The way we live and relate to one another is worship. It is the whole of our life.

Paul would make the argument that the Spirit life is to be manifested in serving the common good.

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." 1 Cor 12:4-7, 11-12 (NIV)

Paul makes the link between loving one another and a walk with the Spirit. The Spirit filled life leads to the fleshly life being freed up to love one another. You can tell a church that is full of the Spirit of God. It is not by flash in the pan revival. It is by the love that is show to each other and to those outside of the faith. Love is the true measure of God’s life flowing through a congregation.

When we look at the gifts of the Spirit and how they operate we see that they are serving gifts. The enduing of power that the Spirit gives is for the encouraging of our brethren. Real fellowship and sense of community is the fruit of life lived by the Spirit of God. Interdependence is an out working of Christ’s nature in us. All the fruits of the Spirit are manifested in the way we relate and walk with each other. It is in the context of fellowship that we are a Spirit filled people. I believe that is vital we develop real and meaningful relationships with those whom God has called us to. George Swinnock also said, "Satan watches for those vessels that sail without convoy." It is important to belong to a home group where you can bring your spiritual gifts to encourage others and others can encourage you. It is when we walk together that we experience God helping and using us. God wants to help His people through you!