Sunday, 20 April 2008 00:00

Think Movement: Learning to Embrace the Spirit's Work

Romans 8:1-2 (ESV)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Have you ever thought about the possibility that you can love someone or something too much? One of the biggest mistakes you can ever make as a parent is to love your child too much. Or, you can love your spouse too much. When a person or an object becomes your primary passion, your life's journey becomes an exercise in self-worship—I must have my kids turn out a certain way, or my spouse act a specific way, etc. to be happy. Soul Talk helps us follow the Spirit's work of making God the primary passion of our soul.

  1. The law of sin and death is living a life rooted in self.
    "The mind set on the flesh (self) is death" (Romans 8:6). When you love too much, life revolves around you having what you want, when you want it, the way you want it. In fact, loving too much is ultimately no love at all—it is a selfishness dressed up. It's this law of sin and death, this deep selfishness, from which the Spirit frees you. Soul Talk is not designed to create new life within you, but to energize it in us all. When people begin to criticize and you get defensive—somebody needs Soul Talk. When internal pressure exists due to external expectations—somebody needs Soul Talk. When you think someone doesn't like you and you sulk—somebody needs Soul Talk.
  2. A real friend is needed to help you identify self-obsession.
    The Irish used to call this person an anmchara—a friend you can trust for a lifetime. They used to say that "Anyone without an anmchara is like a body without a head." A soul friend will listen to you tell your story and will be able to identify the chorus.
    • A Tragedy(I'm a victim; support me)
    • A Romance(I'm a hero; applaud me)
    • An Irony(I'm a cynic; sneer with me)
    • A Comedy(I'm a clown; laugh with me).

    Your friend will be able to: think beneath—to the real battle; you want life to work out and pain minimized, but the real problem is that God is not your primary passion. Your friend will: think vision—to see your uniqueness and who you could become. A friend is one who: thinks passion—so broken that he is confident in the Spirit alone. And a friend is one who: thinks story—patiently enduring as you tell your story; a friend who listens with curiosity and love, as he exposes, rebukes and confronts with grace. Paul was this kind of friend; he tells his story (Romans 7), and then encourages others (Romans 8:1). "For the law of the Spirit has set you free in Christ Jesus, from the law of sin and death."

  3. The law of the Spirit is the movement of the Spirit within us.
    Believers are given the Spirit of God. Romans 8 is the definitive chapter of the Spirit's work. The peculiar people described in Romans 8:1 are all Spirit-led and not flesh-led. In other words, the Spirit of God has grabbed hold of those the Father has chosen.
    1. The Spirit gives new desires for God that are permanent—the new birth.
    2. The Spirit takes possession of His children and instructs them—effectually.
    3. The Spirit is the guarantee that our lives change—we are in a different sphere.
    Soul Talk is the ability to embrace what the Spirit is doing within us. A person who Soul Talks speaks words that highlight and energize the Spirit's movement.

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