So if you don't already know, I am a youth pastor. If you don't know what a youth pastor is, it is also referred to as a student pastor or maybe even a development pastor. Pretty much I work with students 6th to 12th grade and tell them about Jesus.
(This was from a while back when the students took over and spoke. So proud of them!)
We have youth service on Monday nights, which is a little out of the ordinary, but it works out for us. This week I spoke about something that has ever since been nailing me to the wall, Walking in the Spirit. I spoke out of Galatians 5:16-18, which says this:
"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law."
There is truly a battle that goes on inside of us, every day, all the time. Those who love the Lord have that desire to please him, but then there is also this constant desire to please and satisfy themselves. It is a battle every time to pick which one will win. Will we listen to our Spirit? Or will we answer the request of our flesh?
After speaking about this on Monday night, I was extra conscious of my actions and motives throughout Tuesday. Was my Spirit winning the fight or my flesh. I realized how hard it is sometimes to let the Spirit win. My big thing was and is with my words. If someone is rude to me do I let my flesh cry out in defense, or do I let the Spirit do the talking with self-less compassion? I will tell you that Wal-Mart employee got a little bit of my flesh. haha Just being real. I had to just not say anything because my flesh was gettin' ugly! After that experience I realized how my flesh is so selfish. I had no idea who that lady was, what her day had been like, or what kind of situation she would be going home to. No, I don't give her permission to be rude to me, but I don't have to give my flesh permission to be rude back.
In that moment, walking out of the store I asked myself, "How would Jesus have responded to that lady?" I concluded that he would not have been short with her or given her the silent, annoyed, attitude, but he would have sought to let her know she was appreciated. He would not have minded to be belittled, because he knew who he was. No one could bring him down. He would have sought to understand and then be understood, rather than the reverse. Yes, I did fail in that situation, but we will sometimes. But like I said on Monday night, the more you give into the flesh, the easier it will be to give in and the weaker your Spirit will be. It is like our Spirit man getting a punch in the face every time we operate in our flesh. The Spirit gets weaker and weaker and our flesh stronger and stronger. But just the opposite is also true. When we let our Spirit win, our flesh takes one to the gut and gets weaker and weaker, and our Spirit stronger.
I concluded my message with verses 24 & 25 from Galatians 5:
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh and its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
Wow, what a challenge. Let's keep in step with the Spirit. If you have ever been in a three-legged race you will know, one of the partners has to direct the steps. "Right-left-right-left..." If one does not want to listen to the one leading they are going to go different paces, get out of step, and FALL. Let the Spirit take the lead. Follow his pace, "right-left-right-left" and keep in step with the Spirit.
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