Sunday, December 6, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 8

Galatians 5:16-23

Date:   12/4/15


Prayer:

 Father God, this has been a very blessed study for the believer's walk with Your Holy Spirit. God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the different. Walking in the Spirit is a blessing, and many blessings we experience as we do. Your Word have we hid in our hearts that we do not sin against You or Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name. Bless us to acknowledge You in our worship, our work, our spiritual war, our walk, our witnessing, our watching every moment, and our love to You and all others. As we prayed earlier in the study, we know that walking in the Spirit pleases You, so we desire to walk every day in Your Spirit, in the Fruit of the Spirit. Help us to continue to hide Your Word in our hearts, so we do not sin against You or others. This we pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.

 

Conclusion:

(Ephesians 6:18) "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

 

Seeking God through the Spirit is walking in the Spirit of God.  Prayer helps us to gain guidance and divine directions from God through the Holy Spirit. We studied "Prayer" a few months ago, maybe last year, not sure. Prayer is a key to walking in the Spirit. I saved this one for the conclusion of this study. Jesus told the disciples to pray always (Luke 18:1). Apostle Paul warn everyone to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). James said, "Is any among you afflicted? Let them pray." Seeking God in prayer is walking in the Spirit. Matthew said, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Walking in the Spirit means you are not walking in the flesh, so in order to do that we must seek God through the Holy Spirit in prayer. I am reminded of our study on "The Prayer Jabez" when talked about; "The Holy Spirit is a person, and at salvation, you receive Him completely, not partially.  The book of Acts recounts the fact that the early Christians were filled repeatedly.  When we are willing to let the Holy Spirit saturate us, He pervades our entire being with His presence and power. The filling is not having more of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit having all of us.  WOW!"  All of us when we are walking in the Spirit, and we are filled completely with the Spirit, always desire to do whatever the Holy Spirit led us to do. Not just sometimes, but always seeking His leadership.  And prayer is one of the tools to do this each and every day.  A prayer that is successful can be outlined in (II Chronicles 7:14), what are they? "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

 

When God grant a prayer what is the first thing you should do? Receive it and worship Him in praises.  If you don't see an answer immediately, what should you do? Keep praying and wait on God.  God through His Holy Spirit will lead and guide you in the path of righteousness, amen. Walking in the Spirit is being led by the Spirit of God.  When we studied "How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life, we learn that prayer was powerful and it helps us to connect with God through the Holy Spirit. Finally, in order to walk in the Spirit, we must be obedient to Him, we must see Him as a person.

 

In conclusion here are five things that we must do so it can be truly said that we are walking in the Spirit.

 

1. Acknowledge

First, we must acknowledge from our hearts that we are helpless to do good apart from the enablement of the Holy Spirit. As Paul says in Romans 7:18, "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing." What did Jesus mean when he said in John 15:5, "Without me you can do nothing"? Of course we can do something without Jesus: we can sin! But that's all we can do. So, the first step of walking by the Spirit is: admit this fact and let it have its devastating effect on our pride. We cannot do anything pleasing to God without the constant enablement of the Spirit.

2. Pray

Second, since it is promised in Ezekiel 36:27 that God will put his Spirit within us and cause us to walk in his statutes, pray that he do it to you by his almighty power. Many of you know the glorious, liberating experience of having an irresistible desire for sin overcome by a new and stronger desire for God and his way. And as you look back, to whom do you attribute that new desire? Where did it come from? It came from the merciful Holy Spirit. Therefore, let us pray like Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 for that chief fruit of the Spirit: "Now may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men." And let's pray like the writer to the Hebrews did in Hebrews 13:21, And now may the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ. If it is God alone who works in us what is pleasing in His sight, then above all, we must pray. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).

3. Trust

The third step involved in walking by the Spirit is faith. We must believe that since we have come under the gracious sway of God's Spirit, "sin will no longer have dominion over us" (Romans 6:14). This confidence is what Paul meant by "reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God" (Romans 6:11). We simply count on it that the Spirit who made us alive when we were dead in sin wills our holiness and has the power to achieve what he wills. You may remember in one of my sermons on prayer I said that one of the things we believers can pray for with undoubting faith that God will do it is our sanctification, which is the same as being led by the Spirit.

The reason we can is that we know that God will cause his children to be led by the Spirit. And the way we know this is because of Romans 8:14, where Paul says you can't even be a child of God unless you are led by the Spirit. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." If you are a child of God, you have a solid and unshakable promise that God will give you victory over those powerful desires of the flesh. One word of caution: do not prejudge the timing of the Holy Spirit's work. Why he liberates one person overnight but brings another to freedom through months of struggle is a mystery concealed for now from our eyes.

4. Act

The fourth step in walking by the Spirit after you have acknowledged your helplessness without him, prayed for his enablement, and trusted in his deliverance is to act the way you know is right. Notice: this is not step number one. If this were step number one, all our actions would be works of the flesh, not fruit of the Spirit. Only after we have appealed for the Spirit's enablement and thrown ourselves confidently on his promise and power to work in us, do we now work with all our might. Only when we act with that spiritual preparation, will we be able to say with Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me." Or in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (see also Romans 15:18, 19). A person who has acknowledged his helplessness, prayed for God's enablement to do right, and yielded himself confidently to the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit has this astonishing incentive to do righteousness, namely, the confidence that, whatever righteous act he does, it is God almighty who is at work in him giving him the will and the power to do it. It is a sign of hasty prejudice when a person says, "Well, if the Spirit is sovereign and I can't do any good without his enablement, then I may as well just sit here and do nothing." There are two things wrong with that statement: it is self-contradictory, and it is unbiblical. It is a contradiction to say, "I'll just sit here and do nothing." If you choose to sit in your chair while the house burns down, you have chosen to do something, just as much as the person who chooses to get up and save himself and others. Why should you think the one choice any more inconsistent with the sovereignty of God than the other? And such a statement is also unbiblical because Philippians 2:12 and 13 says, Beloved, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (get out of the chair, the house is on fire!) because (not "in spite of" but "because") God is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. It is a great incentive, not discouragement, that all our effort to do what is right is the work of almighty God within us. At least for myself, I am greatly encouraged when the going gets rough that any effort I make to do right is a sign of God's grace at work in me. "Let him who serves serve in the strength which God supplies, that in everything God may get the glory" (1 Peter 4:11). To God be the glory!

5. Thank

The final step in walking in the Spirit is to thank God for any virtue attained or any good deed performed. If without the Spirit we can do no right, then we must not only ask his enablement for it but also thank him whenever we do it. Just one example from 2 Corinthians 8:16. Paul says, "Thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus." Titus loved the Corinthians. Where did that come from? God put it in his heart. It was a fruit of the Spirit. So what does Paul do? He thanks God. And Titus should, too. Thanks be to God who puts love in our hearts! "If we live by the Spirit, then let us also walk by the Spirit." Let us acknowledge from our heart that we are unable to please God without the Spirit's constant enablement. Let us pray for that enablement. Let us trust confidently in the Spirit's power and promise to give that enablement. Then let us do what we know is right. And having done it, let us turn and say with all the saints, "Not I, but the Spirit of Christ within me." Thanks be to God! To him be glory for ever and ever! Amen.

 

Exercise:         Week # 8         Walking in the Spirit today:

What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?

 

Extra: Kindness/Meekness (Temperance)

I choose kindness . . . I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid.  And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

 

Extra: Temperance

I choose Longsuffering . . .  I am a spiritual being. . .After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will not, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

 

Personal Prayer:

Father God, please forgive me for allowing pride to ever visit my door. Thank You for loving me enough to tell me when I am doing, thinking, or believing the wrong things.  Help me to never think I know more than You.  Help me to always be ready to learn and remain teachable in all things.  Help me to hear You and accept Your correction.  Help me to develop the fruit of meekness and to remove pride from my heart. I love You, Lord, and I want to always be in the Truth.  I want to remain humble and lined up with Your will for my life. Show me where there is sin and wrong thinking in my life, and help me to lay it down at Your feet.  Thank You for the Truth and correction of Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your life giving Word.  Thank You that Your Word holds all the answers.  Help me to separate my ideas and thoughts from the worlds'.  Help me to adapt and submit my life, thoughts, and feelings to what Your Word says, Help me to develop the fruit of self-control by living an obedient, submitted, and consecrated life.  Thank You for Your Son and the living example that He lived.  Thank You. . . Thank You. . . Praise You! In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen!

 

Reading Assignment:             Week # 8         I Corinthians 13

LOVE is God

JOY is love's cheerfulness or the gladness of love.
PEACE is love's confidence or the quietness of love.
LONGSUFFERING is love's composure or the patience of love.
GENTLENESS is love's consideration or the graciousness of love.
GOODNESS is love's character or the conduct of love.
FAITHFULNESS is love's constancy or the dependability of love.
MEEKNESS is love's comeliness or the humility of love.
TEMPERANCE is love's conquest or the control of love.

 

Walking in the Spirit is walking in God's love.

Prayer Time

Prayer Time
Praying for Peace