Daily Devotional: April 22

“Rise, take up your bed and walk”

John‬ ‭5:8-10
“Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
Oh, how I love the freedom of walking with Christ in the Spirit of grace and free of legalism.

No do’s or don'ts, just a freedom to walk with the Savior righteously being led by His spirit and truth of the word, not adding or subtracting from His word and simply enjoying real fellowship in the Spirit who lives in me.

Being directed by God's Spirit is a privilege that every believer has at the moment he/she gives his/her life to Jesus and His Spirit seals us and lives in us.

Walking in His Spirit, directed by God and free from bondage to the law of the flesh.

Speaking from personal experience, legalism destroys lives and pushes people away from Jesus doing the opposite of what is intended. Years ago, I had, what I thought, “zeal for God” and thought it my responsibility to make sure that every person needed to follow Christ the same way I followed Him! I did that ignorantly for years until one day while teaching in the book of Romans (2:1) “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”

It seemed as though my spirit was awakened and mind free. As I meditated on the verse later, God's Spirit was alive in me and all I needed was to listen to Him.

Legalism replaces the work of the spirit with a rigid adherence to do’s and don'ts. Instead of hearing from God, I was holding myself and others in bondage to ideas that didn’t emanate from God’s word. Much like the Jews who told Jesus that he can’t heal on the Sabbath, I was using personal beliefs to control my life and the lives of others.

It was an essential transformation in my personal walk when the Spirit of God almost audibly spoke to me “stop being the Holy Spirit for people”.

The transformation was not immediate but over the past 20 years, I learned to walk in grace and rolled the burden of legalism over my shoulders and learned to put on grace and enjoy fellowship with Jesus.

The past two years have been more transformational than the last 20. A journey of 28 years with Christ is only getting stronger and more fulfilling as I continue to understand more of His love for me and walk in the spirit.

When we fellowship with Jesus, it brings freedom from legalism and sinful behavior. Although perfection is impossible until we see Him face to face, I am connected to Christ by Grace and have full access with confidence to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. What a friend we have in Jesus and what amazing joy we have in walking and serving the Savior who holds us in His hands and won’t let go.

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