A new beginning — Life is always full of new beginnings. At age 60 I have had many. The typical new beginning that fill most of our lives. Our physical birth, the birth of younger siblings that change our relationship with our parents, the first day of school, my first pair of high heels, a driver’s license, a first date, a wedding, the birth of a first child, then a second child, the death of a parent, a divorce, a new job — you understand what I am saying. These are the ‘new’ beginnings we make often in our “flesh” life.
However, the new beginnings in my spiritual life are the ones that have the greatest impact – that have genuinely made the difference, giving strength and meaning to the fleshly life. There have been several since I came to first know Jesus Christ as my Savior in June 1960. Then from 1999 to 2003 reaching a new level of intimacy with the Holy Spirit and writing Thought of the Week devotionals in 2007-2008.
I realized today that I have allowed life to get in the way of my daily intimacy with Jesus and I find myself at a new spiritual beginning. A spiritual beginning that I pray will keep me Walking in the Spirit every step of the rest of my days. When I heard the following scripture from Galatians 5:16-26 read this morning at church, the Holy Spirit brought me to my knees in my soul. The words ripped through my soul as I realized how much of my time I spend each day in “fleshly” actions and thoughts — the words “outbursts of wrath” especially crushed in on me.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
The words of Paul in Ephesian 4 echoed in me as I grieved my behaviors, realizing that I, in my fleshly walk, have grieved my Jesus. How his heart must break when we choose to live in the flesh — to be in and of the world — instead of walking with the Holy Spirit — being in the world but NOT of the world.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
So this afternoon I have taken my first steps on my new beginning. Those first steps have given birth to this blog. Day by day, I will share with others in hopes that they too will come to know my Jesus and the intimate walk with the Holy Spirit.
As I enter this journey, I am excited to see where the Holy Spirit will lead me — I know not the next steps, but I know this — it will be a walk engulfed in His Peace, a walk filled with His Joy and a walk filled with adventure as He reveals the walk — One Step at a Time.