through His Word
What spirit drives you? Does the spirit of fear influence your everyday life, or does the Spirit of God? Does a spirit of anger hover over your heart, or a spirit of love? The word spirit means “a governing influence or disposition.”1 God doesn’t want fear or any other negative influence to govern our hearts (2 Timothy 1:7). These influences will lead us down a path we won’t want to travel.
We can think of a spirit that drives us as a rudder that turns a boat in a particular direction and steers us to a particular destination. We can be steered into the shining waters of God’s strength, joy, and victory or into the murky pools of negativity, darkness, and desperation. Even when the storms come, with the right rudder we can continue on God’s course for our lives. Consider the following “rudders” and the destinations that they bring us to. What spirit do you want to drive you?
- The spirit of fear leads us to paralysis, isolation, and missed opportunities.
The spirit of anger leads us to say harsh words, harbor bitter spirits, and have “out of control” reactions.
- A critical spirit leads us to undermine people’s value and forget their strengths.
- A selfish spirit leads us to forgo God’s plan, methods, and timing in favor of our own.
An anxious spirit leads us to focus on the problem instead of our heavenly Father who takes care of His children.
- A spirit of laziness leads us to an unproductive life and a lack of fulfillment.
- A covetous spirit leads us to take what others have or to resent them for it.
- A loving spirit leads us to joy, “together,” fulfillment, and blessing others.
A peaceful spirit leads to a stable heart, a sound mind, and clear direction.
- A spirit of hope leads us to take initiatives, pray without ceasing, and trust God.
The spirit of endurance leads us to complete the next leg of the race, give our all in each round of the fight, and not give up.
- A spirit of wisdom leads us in God’s paths, avoiding pitfalls and doing good.
- The Holy Spirit leads us to understand the truth, refuse sin and embrace God’s ways, and make a difference in the world around us.
Are you headed in the right direction? Am I? If our rudder is leading us in the wrong direction, we can turn our boat around by replacing the wrong influences with the right ones. It takes a deliberate choice to “put off” the wrong influences and “put on” the right ones as Colossians 3:8-14 teaches us to do.
Allow God and His Word to be the helmsmen that steer your life in the right direction—into His joy, strength, fulfillment, and effectiveness. Refuse the wrong rudders, and flourish in the power and influence of the right spirit!
May this be our prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24, NKJV). Amen.
Discussion Point: (Please leave a comment below.) Of the 7 negative rudders, which do you think is the most subtle, that it takes over gradually and we don't realize it until it's too late? And of the 6 good rudders, which one would you most like to steer you right now?
1 Pierce, Larry. The Online Bible. CD-ROM. Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2007.
© Copyright 2014 by Katy Kauffman
rudders, spirit, direction in life, fear, anger, love, peace, joy, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies