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Flowing in the Spirit by Chris Payne

September 11, 2012

In a recent sermon, I talked about the final instructions you receive before embarking on a whitewater rafting trip. It goes something like this…” If you fall out of the boat, make sure you don’t try to stand up and walk out. Rather, point your feet downstream, let the current take you and wait for us to rescue you.”  Hearing these words for the first time can be disconcerting to say the least. I was just here to have some fun, not to be rescued.

Truth is, this instruction is similar to the one God gives.  Jesus told his disciples in Acts 1:4: “Don’t leave Jerusalem, wait for the gift my Father promised, which you heard me speak about.”

I’m sure the last place the disciples wanted to be after Jesus’ death was Jerusalem. This was the scene of the crime…and, the people that killed Jesus wanted to do the same to His followers.  However, Jesus says, “Don’t leave, wait.” Wait for what? Wait for the Spirit, wait for the Promise.

Whenever I “fall out of the boat,” my first instinct is to get out of the water…get out of the flow of the current. Rescue myself from danger. My “flesh” wants to preserve itself at all costs. It doesn’t want me to trust in God or anyone for my rescue.

Jesus says, “Wait…stop kicking and screaming. Trust me. Trust my work in you. Go with the flow of my Spirit, don’t fight it.”

When I try to stand up and walk out of the flow of the Spirit, the only thing I rescue is my flesh.

Wait for the promise of the Father…the Holy Spirit and His work in us.
“I am SURE of this, He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete that work.” Philippians 1:6

Point your feet downriver and let the flow of the Spirit take you…

Further passages for study:
Galatians 5:16-26
Romans 8:4
I Thessalonians 1:4-7
John 7:37-38

Chris Payne is the Senior Pastor of New Charlotte Church and has been ministering in the city of Charlotte for 14 years. Chris is a graduate of Liberty University and received his Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell. He is currently working toward his doctorate in Marriage and Family Counseling. He is married to Jen and they recently celebrated their 11-year anniversary. They are the proud parents of Jackson, Maryn and Faith and reside in Waxhaw, NC. You can read Chris’s blog at: http://newcharlotte.org/media/chriss-blog.

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