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Kevin Bennie

Jan 6, 2024 10:13 AM

Work it - part 5 Keeping in Step

πŸ‘‡πŸ’₯ FULL DEVO BELOWπŸ’₯πŸ‘‡ Some clarity: Effort is good. It is ok to try hard, in fact necessary when we follow the Spirit. "Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude, Effort is an action." Dallas Willard Jesus' criticisms of the Pharisees, the religious leaders, is because of their hypocrisy, not because they tried really hard to live their life in a pleasing manner to God. Jesus' criticism - and it was sharply worded criticism - was that they were hypocritical in their actions and the state of their heart, it was not that they worked hard to keep themselves and others in right standing with God. (Matt 23:23)(Their hypocrisy came when they tried to apply the law to every tiny little part of their lives and the lives of those they were assigned to care for - their respective religious communities - but ignored other aspects of the law. The parts that required compassion, mercy, and justice.) It may take effort! Jesus doesn't call it "the narrow path" (Matt 7:34-35) and "the narrow door"(Luke 13:22-28) for nothing! Just because it is straight forward and relatively simple doesn't make it easy! This is why I love this idea of "keeping in step with the Spirit." Its that we constantly submitting ourselves to the Spirit, inviting the Spirit to lead us and direct us, and telling Jesus we want to walk in his ways. It's not that the Holy Spirit tells us where to put our left foot and our right foot every minute of every day. NO, far from it! God rarely does this. More often he says look! Over here! There are no laws against these things! Run! Jump! Play! Enjoy the freedom over here! Submission to the Spirit changes us in a few key ways: 1. Humbles us to the submission of another. A posture of humility will almost always put us in a right posture going into a trial, a difficult situation, or various successes. 2. Keeps us from self-praise - pride - when things go well! We can't take the glory away from God when we say, well I just submitted to the Spirit of God and did what he told me to do PRAY Sit with this idea in prayer, ask the Holy Spirit what he would have you focus on.

Christian Living