Sweet Holy Spirit, sweet heavenly dove, stay right here with us, filling us with Your love!
What a beautiful song about the Holy Spirit who is often times symbolized by a dove. If you have ever observed doves in the wild, in the trees or on a power line you know that they are very shy and they are easily frightened away, so also is the Holy Spirit. Not that the Holy Spirit is afraid of anything because He is God, but He is also the Spirit of God who can be grieved by our actions.
We have all experienced people around us with a vile mouth or maybe they smoke or have some other annoying attitude that makes us want to run for cover, and so it is with Holy Spirit, we can grieve Him away from us when we are offensive to people, vulgar or angry and bitter against someone, or just downright mean, and we have all been there. The dove is a shy gentle bird with a soothing throaty voice that coos and moans in the summer heat. I remember the song of the dove being the first recognizable sound that I heard outside in the yard when I was just a small child, and even today it has a calming effect on me.
The dove is a symbol of God's sweet nature and exudes His very character by the fruit of the Spirit that He exhibits in the person of Christ. We also are to have the nature and character of God residing in us who are born again and as we are taught by and led by the Holy Spirit we bear and exhibit this delightful fruit to a lost and dying world, proving that we are indeed sons of God. The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God and not by the deeds or fruit of the flesh.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:16,17
LIVING IN A PIGEON COOP
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, (sexual immorality) uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, (witchcraft, drug addiction and divination) hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of anger, wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:18-21
As you can see the works or fruit of the flesh are diametrically opposed to the nature and character of God. Unlike the fruit of Holy Spirit, the flesh exhibits the nature of the devil, or in comparison, a pigeon and a dove. Pigeons are a selfishly ambitious lot, always jockeying for position and pushing and shoving to gain an advantage. The difference in living in the Spirit and living in the flesh are like night and day and if you live by the flesh it is like living in a coop full of pigeons!
When one becomes born again a spiritual man is birthed within his body and begins to grow as he feeds on the word of God. At first he is like a baby being nourished and cared for by Holy Spirit's watchful eye, but then as he begins to become stronger he becomes convicted of the deeds of his flesh and is expected to deal with each one as the Spirit leads and put that fleshly nature on the cross. From the time of the new birth the spiritual man has a battle on his hands, warring against the old nature. Flesh and Spirit have no more fellowship than a pigeon and a dove, and doves don't hang out with pigeons!
The new man, encased in a fleshly carton must learn to dominate the old nature and put to death the deeds of the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. The word of God tells us that we have been crucified with Christ, buried with Him in baptism and resurrected into a new creation in Christ. The old man is dead and the new man is renewed daily into a replica of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we grow in spirit and gain strength through His word we will see the image of the old man begin to fade away and the new man begin to flourish and bear fruit for God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23
DEATH TO SELF
And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with it's passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:24,25
There is an old Indian saying that there are two wolves that live within a man, the question being, which one is stronger? The one you feed! This is also true in the believer's life, you either feed the desires of your flesh or you feed the spiritual man with the word of God, and starve the old man to death! Your old man was nailed to the cross along with the Lord Jesus Christ and you are expected to keep him there and as the scripture states: old things will pass away and all things will become new.
As you begin to walk in the Spirit and allow Him to lead you by listening daily for His voice you will grow stronger and become more aware of the spiritual realm that God intends for you to live in. A whole new dimension will open up for the ones who seek first the kingdom of God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them. Walking in the Spirit involves the total surrender of the person's will to be given over to the Lord Jesus in order for Him to lead His life through you! You must decrease for Him to increase as He walks and lives through you. That is what it means to deny yourself and to take up your cross and follow Him.
For the church of the living God to begin to be His body and the very expression of His existence in the earth today we must quit living in a pigeon coop and assume the position as sons of God, filled with His Spirit, crucified with Christ and walking this earth as He walked in power and in the anointing of the most high God! Unified under the banner of the cross, the assembly of the saints would be a formidable force to be reckoned with going about doing good and healing everyone oppressed by the devil! So the question is this: are you living in a coop full of mean-spirited birds or are you walking in the nature and character of God spreading the message of the dove, loving God with all of your heart and your neighbor as yourself?
I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20