Summary: 50 DAYS TO PENTECOST - Part 4
Imagine that we have set up an obstacle course; according to your imagination you can make it as easy or as difficult as you would like. Together we review what is required to successfully complete the course, and we are ready to go. As you stand at the starting line and are about to begin, suddenly and unexpectedly you are blindfolded; the obstacles before you disappear into darkness. With a blind path set before you, you are given a choice. You can either attempt to navigate through the obstacles alone, or you can follow the instructions of a guide.
What will your choice be? Will you attempt to make it on your own or will you accept the help of someone to lead you through the twists and turns, ups and downs, and all the other difficulties that lie before you? The gun sounds; the clock is ticking. How will you make it across the finish line?
Our imaginary obstacle course is more real than many of us may realize. The obstacle course set before us is the path of life. Each of us can choose to either navigate through the unforseen circumstances lying before us, or we can follow the directions of an unseen guide.
God knows the path set before us and offers to direct our footsteps with the help of the Holy Spirit. The choice is yours. You can go it alone and take the journey with uncertainty, or you can take each step with confidence following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The question for us to answer today is this: HOW CAN WE WALK IN THE SPIRIT? How can we live our lives with the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit? How can we follow the leading of God who is able to clearly see all that is before us so that we can run the race with confidence?
In order to know how to walk in the Spirit, we¡¯re going to look at 3 ¡°R¡¯s¡±: RECEIVE, RELY and RESPOND. You don¡¯t have to go it alone; God is ready to help you cross the finish line with the Holy Spirit as your guide.
HOW CAN WE WALK IN THE SPIRIT?
I. RECEIVE THE SPIRIT IN YOUR LIFE.
If you are going to let God be your guide directing you through the obstacle course of life, then your first step is to ACCEPT GOD AS YOUR GUIDE¨CRECEIVE THE SPIRIT.
1. Jesus gives us the promise that the Holy Spirit will be our Counselor and Guide.
+ John 14:16-17 16I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. 17This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! (MsgB)
Jesus tells us that the Father will give us ¡°another friend,¡± a ¡°Counselor¡± (NIV), or ¡°Comforter¡± (KJV). The Greek word used here is ¡°parakletos¡± (this is why you may hear the Holy Spirit called ¡°the Paraclete¡±).
Literally ¡°parakletos¡± means ¡°one called along side,¡± so the Holy Spirit is with us to guide and direct our decisions; He is our Counselor or Friend.
The Holy Spirit is comes along side to help us like I helped my kids learn how to hit a baseball; I stood over them holding the bat and said ¡°swing.¡± Together we hit the ball!
2. Jesus¡¯ promise makes a distinction between those who have received the Spirit and those who have not.
Those living apart from God cannot receive the help of the Holy Spirit; only those who have personally accepted Christ have received the Spirit into their lives and benefit from the direction of the Spirit. Until you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, your mind is on a different wavelength and you¡¯re incapable of ¡°tunning into¡± the voice of the Holy Spirit to receive direction and guidance; you¡¯re running alone and blind.
Each of us have started running the race of life; we have all run into various obstacles tripping and falling along the way. The Bible says, ¡°all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God¡± (Romans 3:23 NIV). You and I have failed to live up to God¡¯s expectations; we run off course and missed the mark.
Sin has infected us all and it is impossible for us to develop a cure. The virus of sin is deadly; the Bible says that the ¡°wages of sin is death¡± (Romans 6:23 NIV). Jesus said, ¡°no one comes to the Father except though me¡± (John 14:6).
Jesus is the only way to God; He took the penalty of your sin upon Himself on the cross. You can be forgiven and make a fresh start if you personally accept what He did for you. The Bible says, ¡°That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved¡± (Romans 10:9 NIV).