begin w/ the Spirit, end with the Spirit

Galatians 3:3

You are so witless; you began with the Spirit, and now you’re ending with the flesh?

This so easily happens to most every Christian, and Christian organization, at some point. We have a conversion experience, and give our lives to Christ. At first, we are completely animated by the Holy Spirit, following that voice and lead, surrendered to all those nudges, able to hear the prompts because our faith is strong and our hearts are tuned in, able to hear the still small voice.

But over time…

We inevitably move away from that initial intimacy and go back to the flesh—to strategies, books, conferences—the same way the world performs its tasks. Now, for sure, the Spirit sometimes gives us strategies, prompts us to read a certain book, and leads us to conferences. But the difference is just that: it is Spirit-led, Spirit-prompted. As we inch away, the Spiritual life becomes me-led, people-prompted, popular idea-guided.

For the apostle Paul, the mark of a true Christian is having the Holy Spirit and living in the Spirit. Nothing is more sure of a sign than that. Therefore, it is imperative that we everyday seek the Spirit, to hear her and be led by her. (I often use the feminine for Spirit since “Spirit” in early Hebrew was feminine)

To be Spirit-attuned and led looks like, for me personally, asking the Spirit for direction in a myriad of circumstances. For these writings, for one example, I’ll read the chapter, listening carefully for what the Spirit “highlights” for me, and certain words jump out at me. Then I focus in on that particular part, praying for the Spirit to reveal what I need to learn/what needs to be written.

And I literally sit and listen.

Sometimes 5 minutes. Sometimes 40.

I am still blown away by how much I hear from God when I simply sit and listen.

Total surrender of your entire person, open listening, then obeying the voice is to be Spirit-Led.

Possession by the Spirit and life under his constant personal guidance constitute the highest conceivable spiritual state.

~The Interpreter’s Bible

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