A Journey of Unity and Transformation

I Am

Walking in unity with the Holy Spirit

In his sermon on Galatians 5:24-25, Pastor Drew delves into the profound call of Jesus for internal unity among believers. This unity, he asserts, is achievable only through the crucifixion of our flesh and resurrection in the Spirit—an idea beautifully symbolized in the sacrament of baptism. This act of baptism, where we are buried in water and raised to new life, serves as a vivid illustration of dying to our old selves and being reborn in the Spirit.

Crucifixion of the Flesh and Resurrection in the Spirit

Galatians 5:24-25 states, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” This passage underscores the necessity of putting to death our sinful nature and living a life guided by the Spirit. The crucifixion of the flesh refers to the renunciation of our sinful inclinations, habits, and desires. It is a call to live a life that is not dominated by the flesh but one that is led and sustained by the Holy Spirit. This living will bring unity for all and in all believers.

Pastor Drew emphasizes that this transformation is not merely a one-time event but an ongoing process. It requires daily surrender and a continual commitment to walk in the Spirit. Baptism symbolizes this profound change, serving as a public declaration of our faith and a commitment to live according to the Spirit’s leading. As Romans 6:4 articulates, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” This is benign of the walking in unity with the Spirit and so God through the son.

The Power of Prayer in Walking with the Spirit

To remain attuned to the Spirit, Pastor Drew stresses the importance of prayer, echoing Oswald Chambers’ sentiment that “prayer is not merely a preparation for greater works, but the greatest work itself.” Through prayer, we cultivate an intimate relationship with God, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and transform us. Prayer is the lifeline that connects us to the divine, enabling us to align our will with God’s and receive the strength and wisdom needed for our spiritual journey.

In Luke 11:1, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” This request highlights the importance of prayer in the life of a believer. Jesus’ response, the Lord’s Prayer, provides a model for how we should approach God—acknowledging His holiness, seeking His kingdom, and relying on Him for our daily needs. Through persistent and heartfelt prayer, we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power.

Childlike Trust and the Christian Walk

Scripture reminds us that walking with the Spirit should evoke a childlike eagerness, akin to a young child forming an instant bond with a newfound friend at the park. Pastor Drew vividly paints this picture, likening the Christian walk to a spontaneous adventure with the Spirit. Just as a child eagerly follows their friend without knowing the details, believers are called to trust the Spirit’s guidance, knowing that He leads us to the Father.

In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This statement underscores the importance of childlike faith and trust in our relationship with God. Children naturally trust and depend on their caregivers, and we are called to exhibit the same kind of trust and dependence on our Heavenly Father as we grow in unity with Him.

The Story of Tommy and the Spirit

Pastor Drew’s sermon includes a poignant story about a young child who eagerly befriends another child named Tommy at the park. Despite not knowing much about Tommy—where he lives, where he’s going, or who else might be with him—the child is filled with excitement and impulsive trust. The child’s only certainty is that Tommy is his newfound friend, and he wants to go wherever Tommy goes.

Drew draws parallels between this child’s spontaneous trust in Tommy and the believer’s relationship with the Holy Spirit. He highlights how the Christian walk should mirror this childlike trust, where believers eagerly follow the Spirit’s guidance, even when they don’t have all the details or understand the journey ahead. The emphasis is on the simplicity of the relationship—the joy of companionship and the confidence that the Spirit is leading them closer to Jesus, ultimately to the Father.

Embracing the Simplicity of Trust

In this journey of faith, it is essential to embrace the simplicity of trust and the excitement of the unknown. Like the child who befriends Tommy, we are invited to trust in the Spirit’s leading, even when we don’t have all the answers. Our faith is not in our understanding but in God’s love and His faithful guidance through the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” This passage reinforces the idea that our trust should be placed entirely in God, not in our limited understanding. As we submit to His leading, He promises to guide us and direct our paths.

Trials and Spiritual Growth

The Christian journey, however, is not without its challenges. Pastor Drew acknowledges the discomfort and pain that often accompany spiritual growth and becoming united with others. Yet, he reminds us that it is through these trials that we have the greatest potential to resemble Christ. Drawing from James 1:2-4, he encourages us to embrace trials with joy, recognizing them as opportunities to deepen our trust in Christ and to be transformed into people of character.

James 1:2-4 states, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This passage highlights the transformative power of trials and how they contribute to our spiritual maturity. Through perseverance, we develop a stronger and more resilient faith, becoming more like Christ in the process.

Unity and Community in Lakeview Christian Church

As members of Lakeview Christian Church in Portage Lakes, we are called to heed the call to unity, prayer, and trust in the Spirit’s leading. Unity is a central theme in the New Testament, reflecting the oneness that Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-23. Jesus prayed for all believers to be one, just as He and the Father are one, so that the world may believe that the Father sent Him. This unity is not merely a superficial agreement but a deep, spiritual unity rooted in our shared faith in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer is essential in fostering this unity. When we come together in prayer, we align our hearts and minds with God’s will, seeking His guidance and strength. In Acts 2:42, we see the early church devoted to prayer, fellowship, breaking of bread, and the apostles’ teaching. This devotion to prayer and communal life was a source of strength and unity for the early believers, and it remains crucial for us today.

Embracing the Unknown and the Transformation Process

May we embrace both the exhilarating adventures and the pruning process, knowing that through it all, we are being molded into the image of Christ. The process of spiritual growth often involves periods of discomfort and uncertainty, but it is through these experiences that we are refined and transformed. Just as a gardener prunes a plant to encourage healthy growth, God prunes us to produce spiritual fruit.

John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” This passage illustrates the necessity of pruning in our spiritual lives. While it may be painful, it is ultimately for our good, enabling us to bear more fruit and grow in our relationship with Christ.

Call to Action

Today, let us take a step of faith and entrust our lives to God’s love and one step to unity. Let’s commit to walking with the Spirit, embracing the unknown with childlike trust and anticipation. Together, as a community of believers, let’s journey toward deeper unity and transformation in Christ.

As we embark on this journey, let us remember the words of Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God is faithful, and He will complete the work He has started in us. Let us walk in faith, trusting that He will lead us, guide us, and transform us into His image.

May we, like the child in Pastor Drew’s story, eagerly follow the Spirit’s leading, embracing the adventure and the unknown. Let us unite in prayer, support one another through trials, and encourage each other to grow in our faith. In doing so, we will experience the fullness of life in Christ and reflect His love to the world around us.

As we go forth, let us hold fast to the promise of Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” In our walk with the Spirit, we will find strength, renewal, and the joy of a life fully surrendered to God.

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