The second of three ways in which men walk, is in bondage to the enemy.
Such individuals are slaves, plain and simple, yet they think themselves free men. They walk about boasting of their shame, they revel in their perversions, they succumb to their addictions, they wear the heavy chains of bondage to sin around their necks, all the while mocking those who wear the yoke of Christ and are His bondservants.
What’s troubling is that more and more of the church looks to these individuals who are in bondage, who are in shackles, and never tells them they could be set free, never tells them they could escape their shackles, never tells them that they could be renewed and restored because the church is too afraid of coming off as unkind, unfeeling or intolerant. It is unkind and unfeeling to see someone hunched over by the weight of their sin, to see them ground into the dust of the earth by their burden, know not only that they could be set free but how they could be set free, and stay silent. It is unkind and unfeeling to see someone marching toward destruction yet biting your tongue and saying nothing because you don’t want to deal with the possible blowback.
The third way in which men walk is led by the Spirit.
Much could be said concerning being led by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit and what it all entails, and there are many examples contained within the Word of God, but as far as I am concerned the most beautiful and complete example of walking in the Spirit is found in the book of Numbers. Yes, this passage is a little long, but well worth the read because it describes not one individual but an entire nation walking in the Spirit, and being led by the Spirit.
Numbers 9:17-23, “Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not journey. So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the Lord they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the Lord they would journey. So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, that they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up they would journey. At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses.”
So in essence what being led by the spirit entails is to go when God tells you to go, where God tells you to go, stay when He tells you to stay until He tells you otherwise whether for two days, a month or a year, speak when God tells you to speak and what He tells you to speak, and be silent when God says nothing. We must be wholly dependent on God for our direction and for the pace of our journey just as Israel was.
‘But Lord I can keep a faster pace! But Lord I don’t need to rest as much or as often! But Lord I need to rest more than the time you allot me! But Lord I know a shortcut! But Lord I know a different path!’
Wouldn’t it be easier just to obey? Wouldn’t it be easier just to trust that God knows best, and if He’s had you in a place for a season He knows why better than you ever will?
So why is it necessary for us to walk led by the Spirit? Walking led by the Spirit is necessary for us as believers because it is they only way we as God’s children can walk that brings glory to Him. Yes, walking led by the Spirit brings glory to God, while walking in the flesh brings glory to man.
Another reason it is necessary for us to walk led by the spirit is because the promises of Scripture are fulfilled in us only when this is occurring. One of the greatest delusions of our time is men walking in the flesh living with the full expectation that God’s promises will be fulfilled in their lives. When the promises of God don’t come to pass and are not fulfilled in their lives because they are walking in the flesh, these individuals simply shrug their shoulders and say ‘I guess God really doesn’t do that anymore, I guess the Bible was exaggerating after all.’
It is only when we walk led by the Spirit that the promises of God will be fulfilled in our lives, it is only when we walk led by the Spirit that we will have the rest He promised us, the peace He promised us, the joy He promised us, the gifts He promised us, the power He promised us, and the freedom He promised us.
We can’t start out walking in the flesh and expect God to bless the work of our hands, we can’t start walking in the flesh and expect God to bless our ministries, our churches, our families or our endeavors, we must first and foremost walk led by the Spirit, and only then are we assured of the blessing of God upon what we do.
So often we are inconsistent in our walk, led by the Spirit one day, led by the flesh the next, and most often we choose to walk in the flesh rather than be led by the Spirit because we let our pride get in the way of obedience. Perhaps God was leading us to do something we considered ourselves overqualified for, or putting us in a position of less authority than we thought we were entitled to, and at the drop of a hat we strike out on our own thinking that we can achieve more by ourselves than by walking in the will of God.
God will place you where He needs you, not where you want to be, and He will assign you tasks that He needs done, not tasks you think you ought to be doing. I learned this lesson early on in life, and as such have also learned to have no aspirations or ambitions beyond what God has directed me to do today. Tomorrow will come with its own set of instructions, it will come with its own tasks that God commands us to perform, and they might be greater or lesser depending on where He needs you, but as long as glory is brought to God, and as long as we are faithful to our utmost it matters not what our task was.
Yes, men may see me differently if I pastored a mega-church, or if I had a recognizable, or even pronounceable name, but God wouldn’t. All God would see was obedience or disobedience, for He is no respecter of persons. The glory of men is a fading thing, the praise of men is a hollow comfort, and if we strive to please men and not God one day we will realize just how fickle man can be, and those who once adored and applauded will be the first to spout insults and throw stones.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.