I wanted to look at 3 ways to keep with God’s Spirit. This post was first published on Medium.com. I needed regeneration.
We have a water softener in our home in Arizona because the water is extremely hard. For this reason I found my hair didn’t feel as clean as at home with our well water.
Water softeners work by using resins to soften the water.
After a period of time, the resin beads get coated with hard minerals and need to be cleaned. This is called regeneration. Push a button on the water softener and the resin is flooded with the brine water cleaning the hardness and sending the residue down the drain.
I liked that picture in a spiritual sense. I thought of myself as the water softener — my body or the Flesh as the Bible calls it. I know my flesh can get stale, crusty and hardened because of sin.
Sometimes these are sins I don’t even recognize.
I need a water softener (Jesus) to be constantly keeping my flesh clean. But I also need a regenerator system to flush out the stuff that sticks to my insides.
Our sermon this week helped me see this. The pastor focused on Galatian 5:16–25.
Listen to verses 16 and 17:
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
So how do I do this? If my flesh wants to control?
But I want to walk in the power of the Spirit. Don’t you?
Galatians 5:22–23 explains the outcome of walking in the spirit — Fruit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
And verse 25
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
All right I want to do this. I want to walk in the Spirit, keep step in the Spirit.
I think there are 3 essential ways that I can keep in step with the Spirit and keep the power of the Spirit flowing through me.
Daily Bible Reading: Reading of God’s Word is essential for anyone who wants to get closer to God. His Word is truth. This is where we get our nourishment. It is where God speaks to us. We need to establish a daily routine to read at least 1 verse per day.
There are many ways to do this.
Some people read a devotional with a scripture to ponder over. Others may read chapters and settle on something that God has pointed to.
I have a method called the SIMPLE method where I can search one verse, study it in context and then listen to what God is saying. And I want to memorize it too. I find art helps me do this too.
Sometimes I draw and colour what a Scripture means to me.
Sometimes I draw my thoughts into my Bible – Bible Journaling
Prayer: Yes we need to talk to God. I always pray before during and after I study God’s Word. And throughout the day as well. I want to stay close to the One who gives me life. He speaks when I listen. I must communicate with Him.
Clean out my system: This is what I found out this weekend. I have to clean out my system. Routinely. Yes I need to regenerate. Even with regular Bible study and prayer my soul can get hardened. I can let unfruitful fleshy things infest my soul.
I need to push that REGENERATE button.
How can I do that?
In private I can confess my sins to God and receive His forgiveness.
But a more powerful way is to partake of Holy Communion with a group of like-minded believers. This can cleanse me of all sin (even those hidden ones) and God’s mercy flows during the taking of the blood and wine.
This happened this Sunday. I felt the flow of His forgiveness as I took the bread and the wine. He flushed me clean. He inspired me anew to write for His glory.
Just as the old hymn says:
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Now I am renewed, reinvigorated, and regenerated.
I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, ready to do His will.
May I pray for you and me?
Lord, we love that you want this close relationship with us. We want to get closer and closer to you. We know you have set up the means for us to do that — through your Word, Prayer and Communion. Thank You so much. Help us to grow and produce much fruit to glorify Your Name. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
Until next time, think about this: Are you using the 3 methods of producing spiritual fruit? Learn to hear God’s Word through scripture and prayer. And be cleansed by His blood through confession and taking of the elements in communion.
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Wow, so interesting. I was sooo with you on this regeneration thing until your three ways, which to me, are simply adding to what God already said to do, which is jsut to abide in Him. Nothing else needed. Sure, reading the Bible can help for some, and definitely pray, in tht if we are in relationship we talk to the person we are with, but I don;t think communion is important at all If it helps you though, ok.
When I look at the history of the church as a whole, I see the very quickest way to get stale and crusty is to keep doing things the same way, whether that is doing church the same way with rote prayers, reading the bible the same time every day, or whatever-anything get get religious and rote even with the best of intentions–like rote prayers served their purpose once.
Yes we can get stale and crusty by repetition if it is repetition without meaning.
To read my Bible, and to pray are very meaningful to me.
Also taking communion brings me closer to Jesus. Jesus did say to His disciples to “do this in remembrance of me”. He set the standard.
If you were only to take communion because you thought you needed to do it to be seen – that would be wrong. If I take it to confess – to show that I want to be closer to Jesus – then I think it’s the right way.
Some days I feel it might be just me taking it in trust. Other times I have a very meaningful experience. But I did feel “regenerated” on the Sunday that I was writing about.
Refreshed and renewed – cleansed and ready to do His Work. I might not have “needed it” but I know it certainly helped me that day.