The Word is My Life
Friday, December 14, 2018
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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November 2015 Walking in the Spirit: Jesus' Story in Mine

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               November, 2015

Topic:  Walking in the Spirit: Jesus’ Story In Mine 

Greetings and blessings as you walk out your life’s journey in Christ!  This journey will include sunny, breezy days as well as cloudy, overcast ones.  Christians have God’s Spirit – the Holy Spirit – to walk with us along our journey.  Not only is He our comforter, He is also our guide.  Consider Him to be a spiritual GPS system within.  The Holy Spirit knows all about our past, present, and future, so it is wise to seek His wisdom: “You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all of your heart” (Jer. 29:13). 

In this letter, I will share how my eyes are being opened to a greater understanding of walking in the Spirit, rather than the flesh (Rom. 8:1b).  Walk with me!

My pastor recently preached a series entitled “Stories.”  In Sunday services, video clips were shown of the personal testimonies of several church members.  As heartfelt, committed decisions were made for Christ, these severely broken lives were restored.  One young girl came to Christ after being raised in a home where her parents sold her Christmas presents to obtain money for drugs.  One lady came to Christ after being heavily involved in the occult to the point of levitating above her bed at night.  These two ladies are now saved and living for God – one is even pursuing the call of Christ in Bible college.  In one of his messages, my pastor said something that struck me deeply:  “Jesus wants to write His story within our life stories.”  Powerful!  God’s transforming power turned around the lives of the ladies mentioned here.  But how does this happen?  It happens as we allow Jesus to flood our life story with His victorious story.

Personally, I see that Jesus Christ is the central character in my life story, not me ... and Jesus’ story is one of redemption, hope, love, and power.  The only way to arise out of brokenness and deep pain is for our identities to be in Him and not ourselves.  Jesus, write your story in mine! 

In the remainder of this letter, I will try to interweave the Spirit-led life, our stories, and our identity.  Being led by the Holy Spirit suggests that I yield to God and allow myself to be flexible in order to move with Him.  John 3:8 explains it this way:  "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit“ (John 3:8, NKJV).  The word also says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). 

As I continue to mature in my Christian walk, the Holy Spirit teaches me where Iris must die and Christ must arise.  Let me share a little background.  I am an introvert (with an extrovert personality at times), and I’m extremely organized.  I had something odd occur in my life over the span of a few weeks:  I lost all interest in my natural routine for having devotions.  I’m organized in how I go through scripture, take notes, pray, etc., but I had no interest in doing what I’d always done.  Then the Spirit of God revealed why.  My spiritual growth was being hindered by my routines. 

God wanted to break my natural routine so I could flow more freely in His Spirit.  That revolutionized my life.  Why?  Because much of my identity is connected to my organizational skills and my ability to complete things.  Previously, I would not feel right if I didn’t complete my devotional routine.  Now, as I still myself before God and follow as the Spirit leads, I feel a sense of freedom – I am essentially no longer under the law that I imposed.  Sometimes God just wants me to rest before Him and let Him speak to me, and I’m free to do that.  Sometimes He wants me to read only a few pages in a devotional book instead of the whole book (as I’m prone to do), and I’m free to do that.  And yes, I’m also still free (as I’m led) to follow my original routine.  God is shifting my identity from who Iris naturally is to who Iris is in the Spirit.  Praise God – Jesus’ story of freedom in the Spirit is being written in my life.  I had to be willing, though, to unzip myself and “step out of my Iris suit” into this freedom.  It feels good.  Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (NIV).

As we ask the Spirit to lead us and yield, God writes His story within our life stories.  My identity is now more deeply rooted in Christ, not in an organized, structured Iris.  I am born of the Spirit and am learning to flow more in the Spirit … and God is being glorified.  The Holy Spirit will lead you in stepping out of your “natural identity suit”– this step is an important part of your Christian journey.  We have the Holy Spirit as our guide; therefore, on any given day, expect Him to reveal some part of you that blocks you from going deeper in God and flowing freely in the Spirit.  You will be given a choice to be willing and obedient or stay within the confines of comfortable flesh. 

As you prioritize a spiritual path over a natural one, you will experience life transformation – the power of His story and His life permeating yours.  My friend, this spiritual journey is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards extend from this life into eternity.  Think on these things.

Ever onward, ever forward~

Iris Barrett, Ed.D.

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministry