The Holy Spirit: Guide into all truth (John 16:13), or Forgotten God? It is the Spirit that convicts of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment to come (John 16:8). But ask a believer how to “walk in the Spirit” to escape lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), and most responses will fall well short of the mark.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
THE FORGOTTEN GOD
The Bible tells us much of the Character and Person of both God, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But most believers know comparatively little of the Character and Person of the Holy Spirit. This despite the fact that soon after Jesus ascended into heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort (John 16:7), and to guide believers into all truth (John 16:13). Limited in their understanding of His intended role in their lives, too many believers are failing to tap into their primary Power Source, the Holy Spirit. As a result, to both their and the Church’s loss, too many are failing to realize anything near their full potential as Christians.
A FIRST MISTAKEN BELIEF
Some believe (as I once did) that they, as born-again believers, are already always walking in the Spirit. But Galatians 5:16 equates walking in the Spirit with not fulfilling lusts of the flesh. We are mistaken, therefore, if we believe that any Christian could possibly always be walking in the Spirit. This mistaken belief prevents digging deeper to allow the Holy Spirit to guide believers into the true meaning and significance of what it means to “walk in the Spirit.”
A SECOND MISTAKEN BELIEF
Others (as I once did) associate expressions like “walking in the Spirit” with practices specific only to the charismatic churches. These too will have their mistaken belief prevent them from digging deeper to allow the Spirit to reveal the true meaning and significance of what it means to “walk in the Spirit.”
A CRUCIAL FUNCTION UNKNOWINGLY DISABLED
How very unfortunate. In either case, by failing to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal Galatians 5:16’s true meaning and significance, the believer unknowingly relegates the Spirit to a position of lesser importance. Failing to discover Galatians 5:16’s true meaning and significance, the believer unknowingly disables one of the Spirit’s more important functions—that of delivering believers from lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
A WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE CHURCH
Please understand. I am no more critical of these believers and their mistaken beliefs than I am of myself. I did not “get” the Holy Spirit’s role in delivering believers from lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16) on a first, second, or even a forty-second (42nd) reading!
It is hoped that bringing these mistaken beliefs to light will serve as a wake-up call to more in the Church. Echoing the words of Francis Chan, it is my hope and prayer that more will be willing to take a fresh look at familiar passages on the Holy Spirit (e.g., Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:1-4, Romans 8:12-13, Ephesians 3:20-21), to make sure that they have not overlooked anything . As Pastor Chan has so famously stated:
...we’ve ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results ... (let us) stop and remember the One we’ve forgotten, the Spirit of the living God .
For all the comfort (John 16:7), and for all the guidance provided into that which is true (John 16:13), I say to this oft-neglected, oft-misunderstood Third Person in the Trinity, “Thank you, Holy Spirit!”
A GAME-CHANGING BOOK HAS ARRIVED
In A Way of Escape, readers learn how easily one of the Spirit’s more important functions—that of delivering believers from lusts of the flesh—may be unknowingly disabled. Readers learn how to reverse course by stepping up the degree to which they “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). They learn how to build a library of Spirit-anointed, flesh-diffusing apps. Apps that are uniquely fitted to them, and their unique Spirit-filling triggers (Ephesians 5:18b-19).
The still-struggling now have another option. The still-struggling now have fresh hope for discovering that long-sought-after way of escape from sin and temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). A way that—because it is wholly Spirit-powered—does not require enlisting the aid of an accountability partner or group. Truly, a game-changer!
1. Chan, F., Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, First Printing, David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, pages 46-47, 2009
2. Ibid. (quote taken from the Amazon online blurb for this book)