Pray Earnestly for the Spirit to Lead
Greetings Church Family,
Grace and peace to each of you in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace. This is a traditional greeting we see in many of the letters found in the New Testament. Even more so, these words should be received as more than a common greeting but a remedy for our current times. They should be seen as a lifeline in a season of uncertainty. These words encapsulate what we need in this tumultuous season that surrounds us.
The chaotic disruption of a global pandemic has now been accentuated with the swirling tensions of racial inequality. People once feeling compelled to stay sheltered in their homes now feel compelled to march in the streets to push back against the racial tensions that have plagued our country since its inception. We have a once-in-a-generation type of an experience of a pandemic colliding with the age-old, everyday problem of injustice and inequality. How in the world do we navigate such overwhelming circumstances? With grace. With peace. And the church must lead the way. And each of us must do our part.
While we are under no delusion that the problems that face our world can be remedied with swift and easy answers, we do know that progress must be sought and steps must be taken. We must move towards healing, reconciliation and unity. We must allow the Gospel to compel us towards justice. We must ask the Holy Spirit to lead. We must ask the Holy Spirit to guide. And therein lies the question I’d like to present to you this week. Have you prayed for the Spirit’s leading? Have you asked God to make sure your life is in step with the Spirit? If you haven’t, do so with the utmost earnestness today. Fall on your knees with humility and confession, and ask for the Spirit to invade your thoughts, choices, words and actions. Offer yourself as a living sacrifice and plead for His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
Through the course of this series in Ephesians we have seen what can be expected when we pray in such a way. We know the Gospel destroys the dividing walls of hostility. It eliminates the obstacles that so frequently categorize the neighbor based on their race and gender. God’s Spirit desires unity. One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. The Spirit calls us into maturity. It teaches us to speak truth in love. The Spirit changes the way we think. It renews our minds so that we see the world differently. Right thinking will lead to right action as we are compelled to love the neighbor. Therefore, we must put aside falsehood that we may seek truth. We must set aside anger and the rage that so easily erupts and clothe ourselves with kindness and compassion. We must work to meet the needs of others and speak in a way that builds others up when those needs are identified. We must be the examples of forgiveness by being quick to seek it, as well as extend it. Above all, we are called to follow God’s example that is found in Christ. We must walk in the way of love.
This is where the Spirit wants to lead and will lead … if we truly seek Him. We must be courageous enough to pray so boldly and be courageous enough to be obedient when His firm and gentle nudge stirs in our heart. It will change how we see people in our everyday routine. It will change how we listen to the news. It will change what we expect out of our leaders. It will change how we ourselves lead in our own homes and in our own community. It will change our church. It will change our hearts. And it will undoubtedly lead us to grace and peace.
Let us therefore pray earnestly for the Spirit’s leading. Let us be strong and courageous in our obedience. To Him be the glory forever and ever.
In His Grace. In His Peace.