Convictions are guided by the Holy Spirit
By Rick Warren
— March 28, 2010
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 (NIV)
All day I'd been involved in a debate. There was something I wanted to do which I knew other Christians were involved with, but I felt a check from the Holy Spirit telling me I shouldn't.
And as it happened, late in the day, I was working on a project with Rick Warren. He pulled some papers from his printer and handed them to me to read.
When I came to the last page, God ended the day-long debate. There were four words on the paper: "Others can; you cannot."
Sometimes the Spirit leads us to greater restriction than the law requires: "Where others can; we cannot."
The Spirit may even direct us to do more than the law requires, as foreshadowed by Jesus: "If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles" (Matthew 5:41 NLT).
If we're led by the Spirit, we're no longer under the law (Galatians 5:18). Yet, this doesn't mean we have a license to sin (Romans 6), rather we're now compelled by love instead of law, by faith instead of fear. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV, italics added).
Can you see, then, that it takes more faith to walk by the Spirit than to walk by the law? The law is meant to drive us to dependence on the Father as he guides us by the Spirit he's placed within us.
This is not a downgrading of the law, which Jesus said he came to fulfill; rather it gives us the objective to grow-up in Christ, accepting the responsibility to stay intimate with the Law-giver and his rule of Love.
(This devotional is excerpted from Growing with Purpose, available from Saddleback Resources.)