When I read this phrase this morning, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear” (Romans 8:15), I suddenly found myself asking God how to minister this wonderful truth to the hearts of his many fear-based children.
His answer (simple as it may be): by the Spirit!!!
Every congregation of the church Jesus is building must be filled with the Spirit so that we can all grow up from where we are. Both the imagery of the church as the body of Christ, and the church as a holy temple in which God lives by his Spirit, call us to what Paul exhorts as being “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
The “bond of peace” is the cross that brings all believers in Jesus Christ to the same peace with God. If we have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are bound together in the peace of God (no matter how poorly we experience it).
The “unity of the Spirit” is the unity created and directed by the Holy Spirit. His work in the church includes immersing us in the same unity that is shared within the Triune. He is always working to unite everyone who has peace with God.
If you do not already do this, try considering each day these three questions: what is God saying (through his word and Spirit), what is God going, and how do I join him in his work?
In relation to the above, my answers today would be something like this:
What is God saying?
God is saying that he has given us everything we need in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for us to be free of fear on one side, and growing in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit on the other.
What is God doing?
He is confronting all the sarky (fleshly) things in our inner beings that are taking up the room that is to be given over to the filling of the Spirit, and he is magnifying his Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds so we will prefer him to our sarks (flesh). His spring-cleaning, if you will, is to first remove what is in the way, empty our hearts of sarky propensities, and fill our emptiness up with the fullness of his own presence (see Paul’s prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21 for how to ask God for these things).
How do we join God in his work?
Every sarky thing God brings to mind must immediately be presented to him for deliverance, freedom, healing, transformation, forgiveness, or whatever other wonderfully hope-filled synonyms we find in God’s Book, all with a willingness to present these things to God in private, in corporate gatherings, or whatever customized relationships will get this done as thoroughly as needed (repentance and renouncing will likely be profusely required).
Every Spirit-exalting revelation must be immediately received by faith (feelings will catch up as faith leads the way), thanking God for each thing he says is true about the Spirit’s work in us, and our experience of this work, and asking him that we could experience relationship with the Spirit in whatever way is revealed as fully as is possible this side of heaven.
© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)