Part 2 of 2 -
What are we to “do”?
By Arthur J Licursi
Let's now look at a second question that I pose here to help us get a better understanding of what we are to do if we are to “walk in the spirit.” What are we responsible to do in response to the circumstances and situations we face in life?
We ought to do that which "we just know is right" to do. We “do” by what we have learned of the Lord over time as to how we should choose to live and function. Ultimately, as we grow up as a “son” in the Lord we learned to obey Him within; that is to be “led by the spirit.” Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Such a son has grown up from the child level.
Referring back to the physical body as an analogy - it’s only when something is wrong in your body that we “know” or are aware of an issue; we are then limited by a hurt hand, toe, arm, leg, or whatever. Similarly, the Lord speaks via our spirit’s conscience when it is disturbing us from deep within. It is then that we should know that He is saying “NO!” We must learn to yield to that inner restraint, to co-operate and be led by Him.
The "common law" is also reasonable to govern our lives at the outer limits - "though shalt not kill, lie, steal, covet, etc." Certainly, we just know it’s wrong. For the Christian under grace and for the non-believer, these are not laws as much as common sense that is written in the heart of every human by “the knowledge of good and evil” operating in every person’s human spirit-conscience. Knowledge is one thing – to carry out that knowledge is quite another sin we have a Sin nature in our bodies. So, it is only the co-crucified Christian who is empowered by Christ’s life within to actually live in accord with his governing conscience.
Doing What We Know to Do:
To the Jewish believers, James says it this way. James 4:17 (AMP) So any person who knows what is right to do...but does not do it, to him it is sin.
But, what is it that we really "know" that is right?
Interestingly, the word "know" here is the Greek word "eido," meaning "what we innately and spontaneously know." This kind of "knowing" emanates from Christ’s spirit of life within the believer’s spirit. We have this inner sense that is deeper than our mind.
From James 4:17 I see that we individually are responsible to do what we "know" we should do. If we know by this spirit-sense level of knowing that we need to take care of something, then we ought to take care of that matter - otherwise we can let it go.
Regarding others, if the Lord tells the believer in their heart to quit smoking, they ought to, and He by His indwelling life will provide the believer the overcoming power to do it. But what we innately "know" may not be what someone else "knows"; so for others to do that thing for which God has told us 'No!", it is not sin to them. The Lord may not yet have told somebody else the same thing in their heart as He has told us - so for them to continue in it is not sin. If they were try to quit smoking to please us or others they may not be able to quit. Our instruction and guide must come from Christ within our spirit with the overcoming power of Christ’s Spirit - our logical mind is not enough to make us do what we ought.
So, if you've taken care of what you "know" you need to do, then you can let all else go. We can let it go because the Lord who is guiding us from within is faithful and trustworthy.