I remember once traveling with a friend to visit his family who lived in Philadelphia. When we reached the city my friend’s dad became frustrated with all the one-way roads. Finally, he saw the house he was looking for, but it was on a one-way heading in the wrong direction. My friend’s dad took a deep breath and drove the wrong way on the one-way receiving verbal complaints from the people who lived on the street. Eventually we got to the house, but not without much difficulty and verbal assaults. When we arrived my friend’s dad grumbled, “We got here, didn’t we?”
I must admit that I have at times similarly traveled through life as my friend’s dad. I know that my destination is to spend eternity in paradise with Christ, but the journey of life that precludes that final destination is wrought with difficult roads. It is easy to get frustrated and decide to take shortcuts and head down the wrong way of a one-way to merely get through one more day as I head to glory.
Sure I make it a habit to ask for God’s leading. But, to be honest, at times it is more like asking God to simply bless my missteps of impatient wandering. A. W. Tozer wisely noted, “We can’t walk with the Holy Spirit unless we agree to walk the way He walks and go in the direction He’s going.” Here lies the key to rightly journeying through life. We need to walk by the Spirit and to do so we must be willing and commit ourselves to go in the direction He’s going.
The psalmist David proclaims, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psa 143:10). Our difficulty is not only reaching victory over our will but the ability to obey. Paul sends the Galatians this instruction:
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal 5:16-18).
The only way to live the good life is to yield to the Spirit. We are to invite the Spirit to both direct and empower us. We walk by the Spirit as we make decisions and choices according to His guidance, and acting in the power that the Spirit supplies. Notice that Paul acknowledges that the Christian life is a struggle – a war between our selfish desires and the Spirit. But, with the help of the Spirit, we can walk rightly. It is the Spirit working in a believer’s life that reveals that we are no longer under the law. As believers, we walk in freedom, but in that freedom humbly and lovingly follow the Spirit’s lead. Therefore, Paul describes being led by the Spirit as a sign that someone is indeed God’s child. He writes, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom 8:14). Paul declares that those who yield to the Spirit are those who truly belong to God’s family.
Today, I ask the Spirit to guide my steps. I proclaim my willingness to yield to Him and receive His direction and empowerment. I will not succumb to the temptation to take shortcuts. I ask Him to help me keep in step with Him.
It is an honor to do life with each of you. Let us encourage one another to live in total dependence on the Spirit. As we head down the road to glory, let us do so in a way that brings our Lord glory.