Friends, greetings in Jesus Name! Today, I will be sharing with you on what I title "Living By The Spirit". The Almighty God designed man in such a way that man can only communicate effectively with Him by the Spirit and not by the flesh. "For God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Now, if man was created in the image and likeness of God, then man is also a spirit being – but living in an “earth suit” – the body. Unfortunately, many try to connect with God by the flesh, and they wonder why God seems too far from them. You know what? God has standards. And He does not intend to lower or bend it for anybody. He expects us to adjust and align to His standards. On the pathway to fulfilling destiny, what keeps many people, especially believers in Christ – “on a snail movement mode” – is their inability to elevate themselves from operating in the realm of flesh, to operating in the realm of the spirit. While admonishing the brethren in Corinth, Apostle Paul said to them, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to flesh, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). Why? Because their lives were characterized by living in the flesh – carnal – and not by the spirit as God expects of them.
You see, when God gave His only begotten son Jesus to mankind, He gave us His best. But when He gave us the Holy Spirit, He gave us His All. There is nothing withheld back from us in Heaven. The Holy Spirit is here on earth with us. When I fully gave my life to Christ on the 18th June 1996, I knew there was a higher dimension of being born again. And that was being baptized by the Holy Spirit. I still remembered how hungry I was to be baptized in the Spirit. On Sunday 14th July 1996, I got baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Really, that event marked a spectacular difference in my life. The book of Acts 1:8 says, "And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you". It is the Holy Spirit enabling life that gives us the power to “Walk and Live the Christian Life” effectively. Galatians 5:16 says, "Walk by the Spirit; and you will not fulfil the lust of the flesh." What does it mean to walk by the spirit? It means to be led by the spirit. In other words, it is a spirit-controlled living.
Remember, “Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor.6:19). When the Holy Spirit indwells you, it's so difficult to fulfil the lust of the flesh. In fact, you are able to bring your body under control and subjection to the dictates of the spirit. When that happens, you are able to “Love What God Loves, and Hate What God Hates”. One of the things that helped me as a young believer, and is still helping me to overcome the works of the flesh has been the power of the Holy Spirit. No believer can effectively wage war against the onslaught of the devil by living outside of the Holy Spirit. It is a spirit-controlled life that dethrones the power of the flesh. The bible says that, “For sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). This scripture is emphatically true, but can only be possible to those who submit their lives to God and walk by the Spirit. Jesus said, “The prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me” (John 14:30). Why? Jesus submitted his life to His father and continuously walked by the spirit.
I remember making the decision after I got born again, to not go near a woman until I get married. You know what? All hell let loose against me to ensure that I break that vow. As a foreign student in Johannesburg, South Africa; I found myself in the most notorious environment on campus where sexual immorality was at its peak. Really, it was a war to live "clean in an unclean world". But to the glory of God, all through my life on campus, there was no girl friend or sexual relationship. Not even a kiss! God by His grace helped me to keep that decision till I got married after 10 years of making that vow. The question: What kept me through? The power of a Spirit controlled life, backed by the word of God and His Grace. David said, “I hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). Listen, you can never go wrong cultivating a strong relationship with the Holy Spirit by living in the Spirit. We will be looking at the concluding part of this message by next week. Till then, have a mega-blessed week in Jesus Name. With love, Elvis!