Last week Rachel spoke on prayer and obedience as a weapon of spiritual warfare. Today we are continuing the spiritual warfare series, looking at walking in the Spirit. If you have a Bible then open with me to Acts 4:1-22.
Whether we like it or not our lives affect those around us in one way or the other. In the psychology terms, we either impact them positively or negatively. We impact their lives either through the way we conduct ourselves (walk), talk (conversations), or choose not to engage anyone. Whatever it is that we do or do not, we impact the lives of these around us. Acts 4:1-2 says “The teaching and preaching of Peter and John angered the priests, the captain of the temple police, and representatives of the Jewish sect of the Sadducees. They were furious that the people were being taught that in Jesus there is a resurrection from the dead.” Peter and John preached Jesus’ love and His Kingdom. Their preaching of Jesus’ death and resurrection angered those around them. Their crime was for preaching the resurrection of Jesus.
Shoes logo: walk the talk; stand tall in your shoes; and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. The Bible commands us to walk in the Spirit and not fulfil the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16). This means to consciously desire to live a life that’s characterized by the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (NIV); OR love in all its varied expressions; joy that overflows; peace that subdues; patience that endures; kindness in action; a life full of virtue; faith that prevails; gentleness of heart; strength of spirit (self-control) (TPT). It is so amazing how may wars we win in our relationships with people and when reaching out to them by showing love, humility, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control! Peter and John were able to speak boldly about Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection to forgive mankind because of the Holy Spirit working through them. He gave them supernatural courage, and continues to do this to us.
The Bibles exhorts us to give the devil no foothold in our lives. The moment we do that, e.g., through sinning or compromise, then we become less effective in witnessing the love of Christ. In this context of spiritual warfare, I think this is critical in the area of choosing what wars to fight and what not to. For example, in this passage Peter and John were dealing with Jewish leaders, religious scholars and elders of the people. It was therefore paramount that they didn’t entangle themselves with disobeying the rules of the day. In Acts 4:8, Peter starts speaking by saying “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered, “Respected elders and leaders of the people, listen.”” That is, he gives them due respect according to the culture of the day. He could have taken the stance of saying we save the living God and all of you are wrong – which would have been true but not wise. This is wisdom of the Holy Spirit which causes them to win the war of potential religious confrontations. The Bible says in Luke 2:52 says “As Jesus grew, so did his wisdom and maturity. The favour of men increased upon his life, for he was loved greatly by God.” I think we have a lot to learn from the life of Jesus in regard.
Acts 4:13-14 “The council members were astonished as they witnessed the bold courage of Peter and John, especially when they discovered that they were just ordinary men who had never had religious training. Then they began to understand the effect Jesus had on them simply by spending time with him. Standing there with them was the healed man, and there was nothing further they could say.” When we walk in the Spirit our relationship with Jesus blossoms. All spiritual hunger and thirst is satisfied when we spend time with Jesus. In Revelation 21:6-7 Jesus says to us “I will give water to all who are thirsty. As my gracious gift, they will continuously drink from the fountain of living water. The conquering ones will inherit these gifts from me. I will continue to be their God and they will continue being children for me.” Peter and John understood this and spent time with Jesus. Jesus’ presence went with Peter and John. This was evident in the richness of the fruits of the Holy Spirit shown through their conduct. All the Jewish leaders, religious scholars, and elders of the people could not deny God’s presence with Peter and John, as they testified themselves in Acts 4:13-14. When the gospel is preached like this, the result is usually two type of responses: those who choose to believe and those who get annoyed! For some people, when they get annoyed they choose to inflict pain on those that offend them. This is what happened to Peter and John. They were dragged to the courts for trail. Note that they do not spend any time at all trying to defend themselves. Instead they focus on Jesus. They preached the message of truth – that Jesus died for their sins and desires for them to believe in Him.
Walking in the Spirit
Spiritual warfare …
walking in the Spirit
1. Our lives impact others
• Our lives affect
those around us
• Peter & John’s
2. Filled with the Holy Spirit …
• Walk in the Spirit (Fruits of the Spirit)
• Supernatural courage
• Some people
• Some people
3. When we walk in the Spirit …
So what ….??
Our lives impacts those around us.
o Seek Holy Spirit help to impact
everyone for the Kingdom of God.
Walk in the Spirit.
o Am I exercising the fruits of the
Spirit in my walk and conversations?
Don’t give the devil a foothold in your life.
o Choose wars to fight.