A Practical Side to Spirit-Filled Living, Day 13
Nestled within Galatians 6 is a verse that seems not to fit into the context of walking by the Spirit. However, let's examine verse five again, only as it transitions into verse six. "For each one will bear his own load. The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him." Coupled with verse six, it appears that each is to bear their own financial load but remember to share what they have with the person discipling and teaching them. I do not want to get into a discussion on whom you should tithe. Rather, I would like to point out that sharing with those who contribute to your spiritual well-being is Biblical. While not listed as a fruit of the Spirit, generosity is characteristic of those led by the Spirit of God. Only God can determine the quality of such gifts; however, Paul continues to remind us about the law of sowing and reaping.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this will he reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:7-10).
The connotation here is to carefully tread so that you are not led into error because God won't be sneered at or ridiculed regarding giving. What you sow, you will reap, and this doesn't apply to just a generous heart. It applies to your character, as well. If you are constantly sowing anger, don't be surprised when people become angry with you. If you gossip, expect to fall prey to the same. If you do good things in secret, God will do good things for you. If your focus is solely on the temporal, your reward won't last.
We had a gentleman in our congregation in Denver who constantly gave to his hurt. He would discover a need in the church and find a way to meet it while sitting in the cold with a broken heater. I was always amazed to find that God provided for Fred's every need. Getting the church to help Fred out was easy because he was so generous with everyone he met. Every time he needed something, his response was to give more. Next to my parents, I learned more from Fred about giving than anyone I've met. He never gave grudgingly but always with a smile. There was no gracious way to tell him "no," when he had determined to bless someone. It wasn't just financial, either. Fred didn't have a lot. It was also in his support of the direction the church was taking. He may have differences or want to sit down to talk about issues, but in the end, he was a unifying force for the entire church. He is now with the Lord, but this man was a blessing, and in my opinion, every church needs a Fred and should count themselves blessed if they have even one.
Part of the issue with the western church is that we live in a microwave society. If we don't get what we want within a few minutes, we wonder what is wrong. Yet Paul warns us not to grow weary in well-doing. We've all been there, feeling tired, without any enthusiasm left for one cause or another. But when it comes to the believer's actions, we're told not to allow ourselves to get to that point. Instead, we must continue blessing, exhorting, serving, and giving. Why? Because there is a season God has prepared for you: a due season in which you will be the recipient of that which you've sown, provided you don't allow yourself to become despondent or your strength in the Spirit's ability to move through you relaxed.
While Scripture tells us that we should behave with goodness toward all men, this is especially true of our fellow believers. Unfortunately, we are often more willing to meet the need of the person on the side of the road than our brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe that is because we don't often let our requests be known to one another. Rather, we sit silently by, praying for an answer when those who could respond remain blissfully unaware there is a need. Pride is a nasty trait. That being said, we cannot ignore the plight of those less fortunate, but we must reach out with practical love. I like to tell people to offer a prayer and a casserole😊 The phrase, "I'll be praying for you," is lovely, provided one does it. Add to your prayer something tangible and prove to another that you are vested in them and their well-being. This goes a long way to building and reinforcing relationships within the Body.
This is practical Spirit-filled living. Perhaps you've heard and even used the phrase, "So heavenly minded, they're no earthly good." It's not that God doesn't want our thoughts and mind focused on Him. It's that He wants us to be the answer to the others' prayers for divine intervention. By walking in love and being watchful, we can touch others' lives so that they see our "good works, and glorify our Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).
I pray you’ve enjoyed this short series. Spirit-filled living is a topic that can be discussed ad infinitum. However, if we will focus on just these few verses, living consistently surrendered lives, we will find we are on our way. Don’t forget, you can always get a series delivered to your inbox by subscribing at comingdawnministries.org. God bless!