23rd Feb - Love God and do as you please


Galatians 5:16-25 (Morning Prayer)

For churches that have gone through renewal and more acquainted with the gifts or manifestations of the Spirit, we will tend to associate “walking by the Spirit” or "being led by the Spirit” as references to how a person “moves in the Spirit.” By that we mean, how person lives or ministers supernaturally. 

However, others do understand the term "walking in the Spirit" as referring to how a person walks closely with God. It is from this close relationship that he is able to minister or relate to others in an edifying way. Certainly as a preacher, I constantly ask this: “How much do people see Christ when I preach? Do they sense the presence of God through my ministry?” 

This passage goes on to say that the fruit of this is not so much a right ministry but right relationships. For example, the list of sins (Gal 5:18-21), except for idolatry, are about how we treat others. The warning is hard to hear: “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Why? Because such behaviour are fruits of someone who do not belong to Christ (Gal 5:24). The 1662 Book of Common Prayer contains a Commination Service  which echoed these words of Paul. Modern ears find it hard hearing indeed. 

The Word is saying this here: "If we walk by the Spirit, we will not do these things.” (Gal 5:16) In the context of Galatians, a person who walks by the Spirit, is not someone who live by the old law but live the Christian life. He is a follower of Christ. He has received the Spirit. He continue to allow himself to be guided by the Spirit of Christ. And if he do so, he will not turn back to the desires of the flesh. 

It is helpful to reflect on this. The Christian life is not just about doing this or not doing that, and the ensuing struggle between both. And going behind anointed ministry, it is about an anointed life. Maybe it is not helpful to set one agains another, for true anointed ministry will flow from an anointed life. It is primarily about being guided, led and walking in the Spirit. Experientially, this may not be the same for every Christian. But at the heart of it, it is about our relationship with God. 

St Augustine made this great statement in his sermon on 1 John 4, "Love God and do as you please." 

Gong back further, it was Jesus Himself who said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15) 

Get the center right, and everything that is good will flow from it.

You Might Also Like