“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18
I have been using a walking app to help get this middle age body into shape. I really enjoy this walking program because you can do a full body workout with walking, lifting, and running right in the middle of your living room. You pull the drapes and let the fat fly. On the app are videos containing different workouts you can follow. You can walk one mile or more depending on what you are feeling up to. For two years I have been working out to these videos that contain the leader and friends who eventually become familiar faces over time. The more you work out, the more you get to know their names and personality. You develop a bond with these video fitness friends. On several of the videos there are people who look like they are just starting. They mingle the “fitness friends” in with them and everyone is encouraged to look like they are enjoying the pain.
For two years I thought these “fitness friends” were people just like me who made the effort to get in shape with this program and were rewarded to join in on the video fun. I thought for sure they had a life changing story how they walked off 100 pounds and if they could do it, so could I. Day after day I looked forward to walking with these overachievers who challenged me with their smiles and encouragement to keep walking.
Then something happened that highly disappointed me. I googled a few of the so called “friends” and found out that they are paid fitness models this whole time. They are professional actors. My walking world was shattered. I thought they were smiling at me because they liked me and were facing the same fitness battle I was. But Nooooo... they were getting paid to walk and smile at me. They were in it for the paycheck, or so it seemed. When I told my wife about this discovery, she looked at me like... “Duh!!!” “Who did you think they were? Everybody knows that!” Well I missed the memo.
Obviously, I am adding a little humor to my disappointment. I am sure they all have incredible life changing stories not matter that they get paid to look good in their new tennis shoes. But the drama does help convey the point... Do you really know who is leading you?
Francis Frangipane in his classic book, The Three Battlegrounds, writes... “The safest way to ensure that no one misleads us is to see to it we do not mislead ourselves.” That was my problem. The app was not misleading me, it was my assumptions that set up my discovery and disappointment. I was misleading myself. No one was hiding the fact that actors were hired to make a good fitness product that I bought. Their strategy worked. They are smart and that is why they are on the video and not me.
Again, ask yourself the question... “Do you really know who is leading you?” Paul writing to the Galatians encourages them to be led by the Holy Spirit. This verse in its context is about the role of the Spirit in our lives. The Spirit is there to give us direction in life and power over sin. We either yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, or we yield to the flesh. If you choose the Holy Spirit, you do not have to worry about being deceived, let down or hurt by sin. When the Spirit is leading you, you have things like peace, patience, kindness and the other fruits of the Spirit to look forward to. But, if you choose to let your flesh lead, then you are at the will of your emotions that are not always who you think they claim to be. They do not always follow truth. Paul says this is Galatians 5:17. Our flesh, our human desires do not want what the Holy Spirit wants. They are in conflict. Your emotions will tell you they have your best interest in mind. They are paid to smile at you and say, trust me. Do not believe it! Emotions not led by the Spirit can cause serious trouble for sure.
As we continue to walk through 2020, many believe that it is time for this year to get over with. It has been one crazy year for the emotions. There has been enough pain, confusion, and uncertainty for one year let alone ten years. With the election year it doesn’t look like it is going to let up anytime soon. But no matter what we face, 2020 does not have to lead us into more fear, more confusion and depending on how entrenched you are in politics, more anger.
Who is leading you? What is leading you? Is it the Holy Spirit? When you allow the Holy Spirit to lead the rest of this year and beyond, you do not need to worry. You have nothing to fear. No matter what comes your way in 2020, the Holy Spirit is there to lead you with truth, integrity and God’s best. Do not allow your emotions to mislead your own heart, your home, your local church. Do not be deceived by your emotions. Emotions are valid, but they do not need to be in the driver’s seat. Be led by the Spirit, keep in step with Him and you will maximize the potential of what is left of 2020 and maybe get in shape too.
I have included a link to a sermon I preached called “Keep in Step”. When you have some time, click on the link and take a listen. It breaks down Paul’s teaching on the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I hope it encourages you.