As followers of Jesus, we are called to live by the Spirit of Christ who lives in us. We draw our life from His indwelling Spirit, through which Christ leads and guides us as individuals and as ekklesias (local groups of believers).
Humanity, however, often turns the Spirit’s guiding into “rules” or “laws”, and so many live by rules and not by Life. (This is actually the meaning of “Follow the Life!”, which is how I sign off my blog posts.)
I’ve done this in my own life many times, setting up a rule to pray, read the Bible, or some other spiritual practice, and to do it whether there is any fruit that comes from it or not!
Perhaps the Lord leads me to read a particular section of Scripture. This is most likely not a leading to read that section at a certain time every day forever. The Lord wants to move on to other things, as I probably would as well. So we see that we must constantly go back to the source for our leading.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to every decision you make. I’m not suggesting that we need the Lord’s leading to brush our teeth daily or to eat food and drink water, though there might be times we sense a leading to abstain from food or water temporarily.
The following quote, posted in a Facebook group by Jon Zens highlights how this can happen:
In 1980, Carlos Ortiz did an interview with the Wittenburg Door. Here is a little snippet of it that gets to the heart of what matters.
[One] evidence of immaturity in the church is the need for rules and laws. Children live by rules. They take a bath or brush their teeth because they are told to do it . . . . Suppose the Lord tells me to eat an orange. So I eat the orange and sincerely believe that God has led me. Tomorrow, the Lord tells me to eat an orange again. So what happens? The next day I write down a rule to eat an orange every day. And do you see what that does? Now I don’t need the Spirit anymore. I have a law instead. Laws kill life. Laws stop growth. You end up staying with a concept, a principle, or a doctrine rather than life. What we did yesterday in the Spirit, we do today in the flesh.~ Posted on Facebook by Jon Zens, 3-22-2016
Always be ready for the Spirit to move spontaneously, and remember that what the Spirit calls us to do today might be reversed or completely different tomorrow.
Questions for discussion:
~ What are your thoughts about this quote?
~ How have you found yourself following rules instead of life?
Follow the Life!
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