A New Walk From a New Heart
It’s been said, “If anyone would do anything for God, he must come under the power of a great truth.” “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) of the Living God is that most powerful, imperative truth for every Christian to obey. “Being controlled by the Spirit of God” is not only a powerful, great Biblical truth, but the truth of the matter is that the LIVING Holy Spirit is the ONLY power by which one is able to live the Christian life. Only those born again of the Spirit of God (John 3:3-5) can live the joyful Christian life; the reason is found in the very definition of a Christian, meaning “Christ in one.” It’s a “mystery” to those who are still dead in their sinful self, but to those regenerated to new life, the Lord has made it known: “In whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU the hope of his glory” (Colossians 1:27). You see, in Biblical theology, only those regenerated to new life in Christ are candidates for a walk with the Lord. New life is essential; only the Lord can make a dead sinner alive: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). A dead man cannot make himself alive and walk again, neither can the spiritually dead in sin walk with their Maker. Mankind needs a new heart for a new walk, and the Lord has to be the ONE creating that newness. “A new heart also, will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will put away the stony heart … and ye shall dwell” (Ezekiel 36:26, 28). So, the telltale sign, the genuine qualifier for a Spirit-filled walk with God is this: you either have a new heart, or you don’t. The stony heart disqualifies itself and has forfeited that privileged walk in the Spirit. So, it comes down to this question: is your heart stony (cold and callous toward God and His people) or is God’s newly created heart and spirit within you? That new heart is made possible only by the quickening power of God (Ephesians 2:1), coming to repentant man, by the gifted grace of our Lord at salvation through genuine faith, gifted as well (Ephesians 2:8-9). Here’s a sobering quote from Charles Spurgeon, “If you are not seeking the Lord, the devil is seeking you. If you are not seeking the Lord, judgment is at your heels.” Oh, lost sinner “seek ye the Lord” (Isaiah 55:6), repent and “believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15); then: “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) as a born-again believer.
The Spirit filled life is a life in which the Spirit of God is not only living, but is in control with his power at work within the heart. It’s all about God’s life at work living in us as we are yielding to the fruitful work of the Spirit of Christ (John 15:1-ff). The unsaved man as well as the carnal Christian has no desire for any control over his life, his plans, and his desires. A. W. Tozer tells us: “Whatever fascinates us will guide us, so I pray that the only thing that will fascinate me is God and his marvelous glory.” So, being born of the Spirit of God is essential, and submitting our will to God by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) is priority; only then will HIS glorious life within be experienced. Charles Spurgeon loved that relationship with his Lord and challenged God’s people to walk in that spiritual closeness with God: “Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God, the more of God will be seen in you.” It’s been said that without being IN CHRIST and being bereft of His Spirit, “the Christian life is only a burden to bear, it is a weight no man can carry, it is a journey without an arrival, a joyless encumbered heart, a creed no man can live, and your belief system will be found in misery and difficulty both with God and others.” So, we need Jesus as our Savior, and His Holy Spirit as the answerable power for our Christian life, lived for HIM and HIM alone. So it’s out with the old, and in with the new as the Apostle Paul stated, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The bottom line is the indwelling Spirit of Christ, resulting from being born again. Mrs. H. S. Lehman penned the words of a song that that is a wake-up call concerning the truth of our spiritual condition: “Do you know that you’ve been born again, do you know that you’ve been born again? Does the Spirit dwell within, bearing witness that you’ve been cleansed from every sin and stain?” May it be said of you, regarding the last stanza, “Yes, I know that I’ve been born again, the Spirit dwells within, bearing witness that I’ve been cleansed from every sin and stain.” With that being the song of your heart, you can rejoice in obeying God’s commands for you: “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16).