Learn to Follow the Holy Spirit

Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Galatians 5:16 “So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

When my children were small, there would be many times I would announce a family outing. “Come on kids, we are all going to Taylor’s Falls (a beautiful river and mountainous hiking area) for a picnic and hiking. You have a half hour to get ready to go.” With four children, there were always different ideas about what they wanted to do. “Oh dad, do we have to go there again, we just went last year?” “I don’t want to go hiking, can’t we just hang out around the house?” and so on. I really didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to their whining. I knew they would grow out of it over time. Continuing to remind them of having a good and honoring attitude was just a part of their ongoing speech they would hear from Renee and I as we left on outings like this.

Once in a while I would be tempted to get a little upset with their attitude. After all I did plan this special day. Renee was great to remind me of our approach to situations like this. “Don’t worry,” she’d say. “I just tell them, this isn’t a democracy or something that’s up for a vote. I get this from them all the time whether it’s hauling them to a grocery store or wherever. I just try to make it fun and they are usually glad.” I agreed with her. I had seen exactly that happen time and time again. We’d usually have a great time and the kids would end up thrilled that we went. I’d usually ask them on the way home, “well are you guys glad we went today?” They’d all have their sheepish look and say, “yes dad, it was really fun. You were right and we were wrong. Thank you for taking us – it was really fun.”

Todays Fresh Manna says, “…live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” There are many times where our flesh and our soulish man (our mind and emotions) want to do the wrong thing or are lazy and don’t want to do anything. Our flesh and soul often dislike discipline, or moderation, or doing things that we know are good for us. How many times have you thought about getting up and exercising, or reading your Bible and praying, or beginning a diet, only to abandon those thoughts in a very short time?

Most mornings I will go through an exercise routine. Very seldom as I drag my body out of bed, is it excited about jumping into an exercise routine. Yet I know I will be glad once I’m done. If there were 20 things I should do to start out my day, flossing my teeth would be the last on the list yet I know it’s important and so I do it. When I will pay attention and listen, the Holy Spirit will always speak to me or impress me to do the right thing. When I obey that leading, then I won’t be doing what my lazy or lustful flesh and mind might want. God wants your spirit to lead your mind, emotions, and flesh. When it does, you will be walking in the will of God. When we learn to consistently do what our spirit is impressing us to do, we are learning “..to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit.”

Renee has little ways of how she prefers certain things done around the house. In the beginning of our marriage, I would resist her on some of them. For example, I didn’t want to fold up the hand towel each time I used it. I was honestly just too lazy to. I also had the bad habit of shaking my hands after I washed them. She didn’t like that because I splashed water all over the mirror. I grew to realize that these were things that were important to her- things that could bring peace to her and keep peace in our home. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to honor her in these little ways. Because I learned to honor all her little requests overcoming my lazy little “I don’t want to” attitude, our home ended up being much cleaner all the time. I was actually very glad about that.

Over the years there have been many areas in my life where I needed to learn to make changes that the Holy Spirit was showing me to make. Those little changes yielded huge results – happier wife, happier kids, and disciplines instead of lazy attitudes that benefited my and our lives in a multitude of ways. These changes literally changed my character and made me a better man over time.

As adults, we don’t outgrow the things that come at us that we “don’t want to do,” and that we “have to do.” We can whine or complain, or we can grow up. We can develop a good attitude or we can bellyache. We want our kids to develop a good attitude. What about us? 2 Cor 7:1 says, “… let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” For many people, life can be one big pain in the rear end. It doesn’t have to be. If we will let our minds and emotions be purified by trusting in God’s ways and the leading of His Spirit, the Lord can make every path and process that we go through blessed. So, “come you all….let’s go to Taylor Falls!”

His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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