A 7-Day Challenge

Carol DunfeePrayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Earlier this summer, a guest speaker at our church spoke on the Holy Spirit. Over the next several weeks, our pastor spoke at least 4-5 more times on the Holy Spirit. A friend, who I hadn’t seen in a couple years, spent some time at our house. She talked about the Holy Spirit. 
Ding. Ding. Ding.
I was beginning to suspect that God was trying to get my attention. I remembered a Francis Chan book called Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit . I had downloaded it to my Kindle app several years ago when Chan offered several of his books for free. Since I hadn’t read it, I decided that now just might be a good time to do that.
Reading was relatively uneventful until a week ago, when I stumbled upon Chapter 6…page 127 to be exact.

“…if you were in step with the Holy Spirit, listening to and obeying Him, you wouldn’t sin (Gal. 5:16). In any given moment, it is impossible to live in the power of the Spirit and sin at the same time. Sin is wholly opposed to everything that is of the Spirit. They really are mutually exclusive and totally contrary to each other.”

And then again on page 129…

“It’s obvious when someone is not walking in the Spirit (at least not consistently). What you see and experience from such a person is usually along the lines of rage, selfishness, dissension, bitterness, and envy. However, when a person is actively and habitually submitted to the Spirit, what comes out of his or her life is the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not–and cannot–lead you into sin. If the Holy Spirit is in you, as a believer, then when you sin you are not listening to the Spirit’s leading.”

Hold on! Is it really that simple??
So, when I am overcome by frustration and anger, it simply means that I’m not actively letting the Holy Spirit lead me? When sin is getting the best of me, I just need to stop leading myself and let the Spirit lead me? When I find myself snapping at those I love, it just means that I’m trying to live under my own power and not by the Spirit’s power?
Yes, I know the “Fruit of the Spirit” passage…but it makes so much more sense now. If I actively ask Him to lead me and guide me, He will show me the way to avoid ugly behavior!! All I have to do is follow His lead. This passage is NOT talking about super-saints. It is talking about what I can be IF I just ask for and accept the Holy Spirit’s help.

“But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before that anyone living this sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” –Galatians 5:18-26 NLT (emphasis added)

If you note the list of ugly behaviors in this passage, you’ll see that it doesn’t just include the “really bad” sins of adultery and witchcraft…it also includes the “socially acceptable” sins of jealousy, angry outbursts, and dissension. The Holy Spirit wants to give us freedom from ALL of these.

Every day in the next week, I challenge you (and myself) to ask the Holy Spirit to actively guide you. Then ask Him to help you listen to Him and follow Him.

Ask. Listen. Follow.

Try it for a week. Let me know what happens.


About Carol Dunfee

Carol is a wife, mom, piano teacher, and blogger for Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry. Having grown up in church, life made her dissatisfied with empty religious traditions and trite answers. She discovered that Jesus alone is the way to real life and true contentment. Ever stumbling and learning herself, she invites her readers to experience God’s love and forgiveness like never before. Read more at CarolDunfee.com.

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