CHAPTER 2

Walking In The Spirit

 

In the last chapter we learned that the Christian life is CHRIST LIVING IN ME (Galatians 2:20)! Christ wants to live out His life in me (Philippians 2:13 – "it is _______ which worketh _____ Y_____"). But why do I seem to have so many problems with living? Even though I know I’m saved and have eternal life, why don’t I always enjoy this abundant life which I have?

Something must be wrong! Even though I’m trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and I know Him as my Saviour, I still have problems. I know that "CHRIST IN ME" is never unkind (see Chapter 1), but often I find that I am still UNKIND, even though I’m a Christian. Why is this so? Often I’m selfish. Sometimes I worry about things. At times I am afraid. I still have a problem with SIN (doing things I know are not right) and BAD HABITS. What’s wrong? Why are there times when it seems as though the Lord Jesus is not living His life in me?

Was Jesus ever unkind? _____ Was He ever selfish? _____ Was He ever worried or afraid? ______ Did He ever sin or do what He knew was wrong? _______  If Christ is living in me, then why do I often do these things?

In Chapter 1 we learned how important it is to not get in the way but to let Christ live in me.  That’s often the problem. We get in the way of the Lord and do not allow Him to live His life in us.  We live our life instead of letting Him live His life in us.

There are two ways that a believer can walk. One way pleases the Lord and the other way does not please Him at all! According to Romans 8:4, a person can walk after the F__________ or a person can walk after the S___________ (see also Galatians 5:16-17). The "FLESH is another way to talk about MY OLD SINFUL SELF. When I walk after the flesh, I am getting in the way of the Lord and not allowing Him to live His life in me.

Those things that I do always come out wrong. MY OLD SINFUL SELF gets in the way. Those things that Christ does in me always come out right! What I produce is BAD (unacceptable to God, not as God wants or requires, not pleasing to God – Romans 8:8); what God produces in me is GOOD!

Sally is a wonderful cook. She makes the most delicious soup you have ever tasted. Joe is a terrible cook. His soup is not very tasty and you can’t even swallow a spoonful of it without making an unpleasant face. Now suppose Sally and Joe both make soup for you in the kitchen and when they are done they bring out two cups of soup (but you do not know which cook made which cup). The first cup tastes bitter and you don’t even feel like finishing it. Which cook made this cup? _________ The second cup is so good that you do not even need to put crackers in it! Which cook made this soup? __________  We can easily tell who produced the good soup.

Doctor Flynn has terrible handwriting, but his secretary, Nancy, has very neat handwriting. Can you tell who wrote the following notes?

Who wrote NOTE 1? _____________________ Who wrote NOTE 2? _______________  We can easily tell who produced the bad handwriting and who produced the good handwriting.

Hank’s Orchard produces the best apples in town. Henry's Orchard produces the worst apples in town. Most of them are rotten and no one really seems to enjoy these apples except the worms. One day your Mother comes home with a bag of the best apples ever tasted. Where do you think she got them from? _____________________________

When I walk in the Spirit, God produces wonderful fruit (see GALATIANS 5:22-23). When I walk in the flesh, the things which I produce are terrible (see GALATIANS 5:19-21)! Suppose I have been jealous and selfish and unkind. Right away what should I realize? (circle the correct answer)

a. Thatís the flesh
    (MY OLD SINFUL SELF)
b.  That's the Spirit 
     (GOD WORKING OUT HIS LIFE
      IN ME)

If the Spirit of God is working in my life, what are some of the things that He will produce (Galatians 5:22-23)? __________________________________________________________________________________ Do you think God wants to produce these things in your life?_______  Then what is it that sometimes goes wrong?
 

How Do I Get in the Way Of God Working Out His Life in Me?

 

1) I Get In The Way By GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT.

In Ephesians 4:30 we read, "And _____________ not the H_________ Spirit of God."

Normally parents have a love for their children and they are sometimes GRIEVED (made sad, even to the point of feeling pain) when their children go the wrong way or do the wrong things. In the same way, God is GRIEVED when a believer sins and goes the wrong way. Some of the sins that GRIEVE God are mentioned in Ephesians 4:25,28,29,31. Can you list some of these? _________________________________________________________________________________

Sometimes when we travel on the road we will see a sign that says, "WRONG WAY!" (especially if we were about to turn the wrong way onto a one way street or onto a divided highway). God is grieved when a believer goes the WRONG WAY and God cannot work in that person as long as he is headed in the wrong direction.

Would you eat off of a dirty plate (covered with the remains of breakfast)? ________ Would you eat off of that same plate after it was washed and made clean? _______

Suppose your toothbrush were to fall on a dirty floor. Would you use it to brush your teeth? ______ Would you clean it up and then use it? ________

Suppose you were waiting to see the dentist who has already seen four people before you. Would you want him to wash his hands or put on clean gloves before he puts his fingers in your mouth? _____

God wants to use His believers. He wants to use you, but God will not use a believer who is filthy. God will not use a believer who is unclean. But God will use a person as soon as he is clean. Of course, we are not talking about the filth that comes from dirt, but the filth that comes from SIN. Has God made a way for the believer to get clean (1 JOHN 1:9)? ______ What must the believer do (1 John 1:9)? ______________________________ In the next chapter we will try to better understand what it means to CONFESS OUR SINS.

2) I Get In The Way By QUENCHING THE SPIRIT.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we read, "Q___________ not the ____________."

Suppose you built a fire outside in a fireplace at a campsite. Could this fire be made to work in useful ways?  Could it be used to boil water?  Could it be used to cook hot dogs? Could it be used to toast marshmallows? Would it be able to throw off heat to warm those bodies that huddle up close to it?

What would happen if you were to quench this fire with water?  Could it be used to do those things mentioned above?

The Spirit of God wants to do a mighty work in each believer. He is like a mighty flame and He is able to help the believer burn brightly for the Lord. He wants to produce wonderful fruit in us as we have already seen. He wants to live out the life of the Lord Jesus Christ in us. But often we QUENCH HIM, and we do not let Him do His wonderful work!

Driving in the car, you have often seen a sign that says "YIELD." This sign means that you are to let the other car have its way. You are not to have your own way, but you are to allow that other car to have its way. God wants us to YIELD to Him (Romans 6:13) and to let Him have His way. We QUENCH GOD when we do not allow Him to have His way.

The believer who quenches God is like the person who goes through a red light and stops at a green light! Sometimes God says "NO!" and we go. Sometimes God says "GO!" and we stop. We are not letting God have His way. We are saying, "Not God’s will, but MINE be done!" (compare Luke 22:42).

Who is on the THRONE of my life?

FILLED WITH SELF

FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
(Ephesians 5:18)
______________________(Write your own name)
  is the BOSS of my life!
The LORD Jesus Christ
 is the BOSS of my life!

The person who YIELDS to God is able to say and to pray:

"Lord, I’ll be whatever You want me to be!"
"Lord, I’ll do whatever You want me to do!"
"Lord, I’ll go wherever You want me to go!"
"Lord, I’ll say whatever You want me to say!"

God does not force Himself on a person. He works out His life in the believer who is not standing in God’s way (not being a pain or a grief to God) and who is YIELDED (letting God have His way)!

3) I Get In The Way By NOT WALKING IN THE SPIRIT.

In Galatians 5:16 we read, "W_________ in the Spirit and ye shall _______ fulfill the lust of the F___________."

Walking in the Spirit means that I am DEPENDING on the Spirit to help me to walk in the right way, which I cannot do by myself.  If I try to live the Christian life without the Spirit’s help, I will fall and fail (Isaiah 41:10,13,14).

Imagine a person walking high above the ground on a tightrope. This person is very skilled and he does very well. In fact, he does so well that he says to himself, "I’m really good at doing this! I’m so good that I don’t even need this rope. I’ll just walk on the air!" Of course, as soon as he stops depending on the rope, he falls! A tightrope walker needs the rope every second, and without the rope, he would fall!

Imagine a woman who is water skiing. Suddenly she thinks, "Water skiing is so easy! Who needs this rope? I do not want to always stay behind the boat. I want to go wherever I please on this lake." So she lets go of the handle and immediately begins to sink! She did fine as long as she allowed herself to be pulled by the rope, but as soon as she tried to do it by herself she failed and got all wet!  [Note:  With water skiing you have to allow the rope to pull you. If you pull on the rope (that is, pull it towards you), you could easily lose your balance and fall. This is a good illustration of letting God carry us as we hold onto Him and stay focused on Him.]

A Christian cannot live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit! Jesus said, "Without Me, ye can do __________________ " (John 15:5).

It is easy to forget that the Lord's help is needed at all times. For example, you might be having a difficult test in school and you might silently pray to God, "Lord, help me to do well on this test!" You are depending on God to carry you through and to help you to do what is right. But after the test is over you go out for recess to play some sports. You might think, "Who needs the Lord to play sports? I really needed God to help me on that test but I don’t need Him to play." Before you know it you find yourself in an argument with a friend!

Here is another example: You come to church on Sunday morning and in Sunday School class you really depend on the Lord: "Lord, help me to pay attention in this class because the teacher might ask me a question and I want to do well and learn what I should!" After Sunday School you go to the morning worship service and you think to yourself: "I don’t really need to ask God for help now, because during the service I just sit and no one is going to ask me anything." As you think back over the morning you realize that you learned much from your Sunday School class but you did not get much at all from the morning worship service!

How many fish did the disciples catch without the Lord (John 21:3)? _____________ And remember, these were experienced fishermen who really knew how to catch fish! How many did they catch with the help of the Lord Jesus (John 21:6,8,11)? _______________

Trying to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit is like trying to drive to New York City without a car! It’s impossible!

The Lord Jesus Christ wants to live out His life in every believer by the power of the Holy Spirit! We need to make sure that the FLESH (our old sinful self) does not get in the way!

"Channels Only, Blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power,
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us,
Every day and every hour!"
                --Mary Maxwell

Can you say in your heart:

Thank you Lord Jesus for God the Holy Spirit!

Thank you God the Holy Spirit for the Life of the Lord Jesus!


Back to SPIRITUAL LIFE
Back to SUNDAY SCHOOL MATERIALS & HELPFUL BIBLE STUDIES