Keeping in step with Holy Spirit

Keeping in step with Holy Spirit

Birmingham Pastor Chris Finn shares about keeping in step with the Holy Spirit and putting our running shoes on to the run the race.

When the Holy Spirit moves we need to move with Him, keeping in step with Him. Too often we want to run ahead out of enthusiasm and excitement, yet at other times we are like those toddlers who throw themselves on the floor refusing to move!

Recently the Holy Spirit said these words to me, ‘Time to put your running shoes on as you hear the abundance of rain!’

The natural elements are often an indication of what is taking place in the spiritual realm

Sue Sinclair gave this word on 15th May 24

I’m pouring out my glory and power to those who have made their hearts ready. Are you courageous enough to open your hands and your minds to receive? I will pour out exceedingly and abundantly more than you can dream or imagine. Get your running shoes on! For as soon as you receive, I’m going to fire the starting pistol. It’s time to run with power and anointing to transform lives, transform, families, communities, and nations I have put in your heart. Do not look at what you don’t have, but look to my generosity, and my favour to establish my purposes.’

As we read the above prophetic words may we be inspired and think on

Psalm 119:32.

‘I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!’ ESV

‘I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.’ MSG

1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Don’t you realise that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” NLT

You also must run in such a way that you will win! There is no point in running for second or third place. We aren’t competing against one another. We have an individual and corporate race to run, and we need to be wearing the right running shoes for each section of the course so that we will be swift and steady on our feet.

I hated cross country running at school; I couldn’t see the point of it and I had no enthusiasm for it whatsoever. I was oblivious of the endurance needed to run long-distance and finish well. However, when playing netball, tennis or squash I would run like crazy to reach that ball to win the point! I had a game plan in mind, a strategy to beat my opponent; And in a team sport like netball, we had a team strategy that needed all the players to be in the right place at the right time for it to succeed. As a team we were very difficult to beat.

‘In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face’. Romans 12:4 – 8 MSG

We were friends on and off the pitch. The way we maintained relationships within that team affected how poor or great we were in a game. I played goal attack. I was no good as a defensive player, but without good defensive players we would have been slaughtered.

Also, we had the amazing support of others cheering us on from the sidelines. It’s the same within the body of Christ, each one of us is a much-needed member of team Jesus!

‘Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.’ Hebrews 12:1 MSG

‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us’, Hebrews 12:1

What do you need to strip off to allow you to run with ease?

What sound are you releasing into the atmosphere; is it a sound of victory or defeat?!

Thoughts are sound in our heads – so many people, even Christians, have negative thoughts of failure, sickness, death. So often we fail to recognise the author of such thoughts; we think such thoughts are our own, thus we struggle to overcome them adding more shame, in an ever-increasing cycle of self-condemnation!

Our biggest battles are in our mind, an attack on our identity and purpose.

A thief is at work, and we find his strategy in Scripture.

‘The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.

My (Jesus’) purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.’ 10:10 NLT

The thief is satan, and the good news is that he’s not omnipotent and he can’t read your mind. However, he can see and hear your response to his accusations!

He’s called the father of lies, the accuser of the brethren. He’s after your joy, your health, your finances, your peace, in fact anything that you are or own, even your life! Steal, kill and destroy! He has no power, the only power he can have is what we allow him to have by agreeing with the negative thoughts that he whispers in our ears.

You get a bad report from the doctor, you’re made redundant, a false accusation is made about you, you lose your wallet or some other bad news.

What happens in your mind? You become fearful; you see the worst-case scenario flash before your eyes in the time it takes to blink! I’ve been there, done that and have the

t-shirts.

‘You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?’ Gal 5:7

‘Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.’ Ephesians 4:23-24

The Holy Spirit helps us to renew our minds through the reading of God’s word. He is our teacher, the one who shows us how to put into practice what we read in scripture, He’s the one who helps us to understand what we are reading and as we work with the Holy Spirit our minds become renewed to think in line with scripture, which will always be upside down to the teachings of the world. Love not hate, bless don’t curse, give don’t hoard, faith not fear, mercy not judgement; it’s all summed up in 1 Corinthians 13,

‘If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end……….’ MSG

‘“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.

“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

I’m so thankful that God’s thoughts are sooooo much greater than mine and far beyond my imagination, and I can imagine a lot! If they weren’t He would be made in my image and likeness. A carved image sitting on a shelf in a room collecting dust.

If you want to know God’s thoughts, then you have to read His word!

Do you know God’s thoughts towards you? He says you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, made in his image and likeness, more than a conqueror in Jesus. I could go on and on, but I encourage you to read the Bible for yourself!

These are my favourite scriptures, and when I forget them, my mind and heart is open to fear.

‘By your words I can see where I’m going;

they throw a beam of light on my dark path.

I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back

from living by your righteous order.

Everything’s falling apart on me, God;

put me together again with your Word.

Adorn me with your finest sayings, God;

teach me your holy rules.

My life is as close as my own hands,

but I don’t forget what you have revealed.

The wicked do their best to throw me off track,

but I don’t swerve an inch from your course.

I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever—

what a gift! And how happy it makes me!

I concentrate on doing exactly what you say—

I always have and always will.’ Psalm 119:105 MSG

Time to strip off any stinking thinking! Time to repent, tell the Lord that you are sorry, to break partnership with lies and unbelief about yourself and about Him. If your Bible has been gathering dust on a shelf it’s time to get it down and start reading it with the Holy Spirit. Running barefoot over hostile terrain could end up crippling you! Maybe you want to pray this prayer.

Father I am so sorry that I have allowed the lies of the enemy to take root in my mind and heart. I am sorry that I have allowed the enemy to dictate the thoughts that I’ve believed about myself and about you. Today I break all partnership with those lies, I reject them and ask you Holy Spirit to help me to renew my mind to truth through the scriptures. Be my teacher, help me to develop faith and resist fear and become the person you created me to be.

Right, now for some new shoes!

Some of you reading this blog may need to get some new trainers from the Lord. To get physically fit we go to a gym, and work out on a variety of machines that have a specific purpose to improve our bodies. First time I went to a gym all my muscles ached, even the ones in my fingers. What was a twenty-minute programme seemed like it lasted twenty hours. However, within a few short weeks I was seeing a difference; more energy, weight loss, muscles in my legs and arms. I changed my diet and drank more water. I’d always thought that a 6 pack was something you bought at an off licence!

As I continued sticking to the programme I maintained my level of fitness but when I stopped my muscle eventually turned to flab! The same happens when we stop reading the Bible and stop having fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is full of great fitness and training programmes!

You need the right running shoes for the journey that you are on; for some, you are running way ahead of the Holy Spirit – slow down and go back to where you left Hm, where He’s waiting for you. For others, the stagnant pond that you are running in is destroying your shoes. Let the Holy Spirit redirect you and give you new shoes to run in the right direction. For those on the blocks, ready steady GO!

I refer you again to that prophetic word which calls us to get our running shoes on!

‘I’m pouring out my glory and power to those who have made their hearts ready. Are you courageous enough to open your hands and your minds to receive? I will pour out exceedingly and abundantly more than you can dream or imagine. Get your running shoes on! For as soon as you receive, I’m going to fire the starting pistol. It’s time to run with power and anointing to transform lives, transform, families, communities, and nations I have put in your heart. Do not look at what you don’t have, but look to my generosity, and my favour to establish my purposes.’ Sue Sinclair 15-4-24

Receive your new shoes with gratitude; they will improve your balance and quicken the pace that you run at. As you put them on, remember that in God’s eyes you are a spiritual giant!

Jesus didn’t accomplish everything so that you could accomplish nothing.

Bill Johnson

Chris Finn is a church Pastor in Birmingham and also writes a blog ‘You have a voice’.

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