I have to say, I’m surprised the going deeper teaching into trust led to a focus and study of the Holy Spirit and His place in our lives. I didn’t see it coming, but it makes perfect sense. Unless we trust and begin to walk with the Spirit we cannot follow Jesus. He stayed connected to His Father, through the Spirit. The same way He calls us to walk.
Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Teacher, Guide, Spirit of Truth — whatever name of His you prefer — we must learn to trust Him and not ourselves or we cannot walk the walk of faith.
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. Galatians 5:17 ESV
I saw it clearly this week in a moment of my day, flesh and Spirit at odds.
Leaving the shop, crossing the street for the parking lot, I saw a woman I know walking down the sidewalk. She had been in the shop earlier. My flesh’s first instinct was to veer away, not toward. In my flesh I’m an introvert. Very, very introverted. But another voice intervened: Walk toward. I felt the tension, surrendered, and walked toward her.
We greeted again and talked for a bit. In the midst of our encounter she asked for help stepping down the curb. I did so without hesitation. We finished our chat and I moved on toward my car.
You have to understand, this whole encounter, me leaving the shop, crossing the street, battling in my flesh, stopping to chat and help, moving on to my car, took about three minutes, tops. But as I walked to the car it came to mind what just happened. The Holy Spirit led me toward her so I could help her down the curb. Because in my flesh, I would’ve avoided the whole interaction.
Now I know this may sound trivial to you, but it is major to me. This learning to hear and trust the Spirit, follow Him, be available for His use, is what I want to do. My flesh just naturally remains opposed to the things of the Spirit. And in this small victory, I see Him preparing me for greater challenges between flesh and Spirit, which are sure to come. I recognize where I’ve grown to notice and pay attention to Him rather than self.
Following the Holy Spirit, trusting His leading, is the means of dying to self and walking in faith. I’ve trusted Him with calls to pick up trash on the street and round up carts in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Both exercises in humility and quelling the voice of the fear of man in me… What will people think? Both ways He’s helped me to grow in faith.
Learn to trust you hear Him. Learn to trust His leading and obey. He’s always helping us to grow in faith: trusting He’s good, trusting He knows best, trusting His strength.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 ESV