Thursday, August 16, 2007

Take off your parka

“How do we let the Holy Spirit lead our ministries and our lives?” This question was asked at a recent leadership gathering. Here was my attempt at answering the question:

In Romans 8, Paul very clearly points out that we either live by the sinful nature or by the Spirit.
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature (flesh) but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ… Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. – Romans 8:8-9, 12-14
I lived much of my “Christian” life experiencing very little of the Holy Spirit. However, after the message of Romans 8 renewed my mind, I put it to the test. By God’s amazing grace, I began to put to death the “misdeeds of the body”. As I did, I found the Holy Spirit becoming real. I began to feel his presence and hear him speaking into my life. I also experienced a release from the Holy Spirit into ministry that had never been there before. Transformation occurred in my life. The Holy Spirit became real and active when my flesh began to die. Again, Paul makes a very clear correlation: more flesh (sinful nature) means less Spirit; less flesh (sinful nature) means more Spirit. Kill the flesh, die to self, and live by the Spirit!

Try this on for size:

The Holy Spirit is a light breeze that blows into our lives the very breath of God. However, many can’t ever feel or experience his presence because they are decked out in a parka that insulates them. In fact, we have the hood over our head and have pulled the drawstrings tight. The parka represents the flesh, sin, and unrepentance. We begin to feel the Spirit only when we start removing layers of sin from our lives. When we take off the parka we feel a little bit of the Spirit’s presence. We then take off the turtle neck and feel a little more of the Spirit. However, where we all need to be is at that place where we can feel even the slightest breeze. You know what I’m talking about. Like when you have just gotten out of the pool and are still wet; there is a little breeze blowing and you actually feel cold; even when it is 115 degrees outside. You are so stripped down and sensitive that you feel everything. That is where we need to be; may we all be stripped of our flesh and sensitive to every move of the Holy Spirit.


Gord said...

"The Holy Spirit is a light breeze that blows into our lives the very breath of God...."

That is an excellent description of how we let the Holy Spirit work in our lives - very poetic.

I would love to use it on my blog, giving it a permanent place in my sidebar (or elsewhere for prominent display) - with a link back to you and with your permission, of course.

I am really enjoying your blog, Eric. Keep up the good work!

Eric Jones said...

I would be honored. Thanks for the kind comment and encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Great illustration!