Walking in the Cool of the Day – Ch. 17 One Thing About God Bible Study
Walking in the cool of the day is the culmination of everything we learned in this book. Again it’s not something we have to try to do, just find ourselves doing as we learn about and abide in the love of God. This is the life we can look forward to with God. It’s a life full of peace, love and joy regardless of our circumstances. It’s a life free from guilt, offense and laboring. It truly is a beautiful life that God has made for us. Enjoy.
Outline – Walking in the Cool of the Day
- We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience the benefits of our relationship with God. We can experience the benefits of walking with God in the here and now.
- This term comes from Genesis 3:8 in the King James version which says; “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” The word for “in the cool” is translated from the Hebrew word ruach which means breath, wind or spirit. So walking in the cool of the day could also be thought of as walking in the spirit.
- Again, walking in the spirit is dwelling in the thoughts and intentions of God towards you. When you do this, that spirit will bring forth fruit, not you.
- Don’t Try Too Hard – when you’re trying too hard to produce fruit and/or see God’s quality of life manifest in your life, you leave yourself exposed for the lies of the enemy to come and wreak havoc in your life. The devil’s mindset will try to come in and take advantage of your over eagerness in an attempt to frustrate you and disappoint you with the goal of getting you out of relationship with God.
- Abide In Him – apart from Him we can do nothing.
- The fruit of the spirit is not a bunch of things we are commanded to do in our will power, it’s the life we experience when we are walking in the cool of the day.
- Acts 17:24-28 MSG
- Hebrews 4:11
- John 15: 4-5
- Genesis 3:8
- Does God need us to run errands for Him per Acts 17? Are we like His slaves or free to live with Him?
- How does the approach a baseball hitter takes at the plate give us an example of how to live the Christian life?
- What happens when we are over eager to produce fruit? How does the devil take advantage of that?
- What are we able to do in our own power? How does this correlate to giving God glory?
- What does walking in the spirit mean?
- What does walking in the cool of the day look like to you? How often would you say you experience this?
- How can we restore somebody to walking in the spirit if we see that they are not? If you have any experience with this, share with the group.
- When we are frustrated and burnt out, what is that a result of?
- Do you find that you struggle more with getting peace about something in the past or the future? Discuss with the group and see if others may be able to encourage you.
- What are some practical things you can do to walk in the cool of the day?
Chapter 17 – Conclusion – Walking in the Cool of the Day
I wrote a blog post entitled Walking in the Cool of the Day that I thought would be a fitting conclusion to this book.
Once you are established in the contentment and hope the Gospel brings you can start walking in the cool of the day so to speak. Now you can actually see the benefits of your relationship with God in the present day and not think you just have to wait until you get to heaven. This is when it gets good. As we’ve previously discussed, when you get to this point, you can have joy and peace regardless of your circumstances.
Sometimes we struggle with getting peace about something that happened in the past and sometimes we struggle to stay in the moment without worrying about the future. My tendency is the latter. I often find myself trying to plan every single thing out or just daydream about how awesome things will be, but that robs me from being able to enjoy where I’m at. It’s like if you have dinner at a friend’s house and are always trying to get up to help them clean up and they keep saying, “it’s ok we got this”. We keep trying to get up to help God but He’s saying it’s ok, sit down, I got this. God doesn’t need our help to bring His life to pass. As a matter of fact, that is the one thing that will hinder His life from coming to pass in our life, when we get in the way. I love what the Message version says in Acts 17:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! Acts 17:24-28 MSG.
When we get out of the rest of God that He has provided for us, we start laboring and toiling, basically trying too hard. It leads to much frustration and disappointment. A good recent example of this is the Chicago Cubs. As I wrote this only 4 games of the World Series had been played in 2016. I was rooting for them and hoped they would play better in the coming games, but up to that point had been trying too hard. Most experts picked the Cubs and said they were the more talented team. However, the Cubs were also the younger and more inexperienced team. What had been happening up to that point is that their hitters had been trying too hard to make things happen. They had been swinging too hard to try to hit home runs and swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. This is what hitting coaches call an undisciplined plate approach. It leads to pitchers purposely throwing balls out of the strike zone that are hard to hit. Now, if the hitters can lay off of those pitches, they will draw walks and make the pitchers throw better pitches. But if they don’t, they make it much more difficult on themselves. A good hitter takes what the pitchers give them and goes with the pitch if it’s in the strike zone or lays off it when it’s a ball. In the context of a Christian’s life, when you’re trying too hard to produce fruit and/or see God’s quality of life manifest in your life, you leave yourself exposed for the lies of the enemy to come and wreak havoc in your life. The devil’s mindset will try to come in and take advantage of your over eagerness in an attempt to frustrate you and disappoint you with the goal of getting you out of relationship with God. The anecdote for this is abiding in the vine.
Abiding In The Vine
I discussed abiding in the vine last chapter regarding how to love like God. I wanted to elaborate more on it here as well. I love what Jesus says in John 15:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. KJV.
I’ll get into fruit bearing in the next section, but I want to talk about what it means to abide in the vine a bit first. The word abide is translated from the Greek word meno which means to remain, stay, wait, continue, endure. In context of what I’ve been discussing in this series, abiding in Christ would mean to remain, stay and continue in the word that was spoken about us in Christ which is that we are perfect and complete in His eyes, that we lack nothing and that He is at rest in who we are. See when we do this, fruit comes forth effortlessly. Why? Because as the verses above say, apart from him we can do nothing and he that abides in Him brings forth much fruit. Just like the example of a man trying to bring forth a child without a woman, us trying to bring forth His fruit without Him is not possible.
Now it is possible for us to bring forth an Ishmael, but that is not the fruit God wants. It’s like if a father says he will give his son a bike. He doesn’t want him coming to him every day asking for it. He wants the son to be content with where he is and trust and rest that he will give him the bike at the appropriate time. It’s not like God is mad at us if that is the case but eventually He would like us to have His heart in the matter so that we aren’t so focused on what we don’t currently have in the physical. He wants us to have a confident expectation and be able to abide in it.
Effortless Fruit Bearing/Time For the Horse to Catch The Carrot
Unfortunately, most of us are so concerned with getting the fruit, so we can have the fruit and say look what I did, that we very rarely ever abide in the vine as described above. But God is not satisfied with the type of fruit that we produce in our own efforts (see Ishmael). This is where the treadmill analogy comes in. It’s like we’re always chasing after the fruit but are never able to get it. It’s like there is a carrot that is dangled in front of us and we’re told if we just do this and do that, then we’ll get the carrot. I think it’s time for the horse to catch the carrot.
As I mentioned before, I’m the type of person that is a very hard worker. It was really hard for me to come to grips with the fact that I couldn’t produce the fruit of the spirit in my power. But God rejoices when we finally throw our hand in the air and say I can’t do it myself. It is God’s will for us to quit trying to bring forth his life. It’s not like we’re getting away with something if we do that. That’s not the type of life we were created for. If you want to give glory to God, say I can’t do this, you are the only one that can do this.
Think about this; do we ever have to try to sin? No. It happens effortlessly. But just like the law brings out sin, grace draws righteousness out of our spirits. When we know of the right standing we have with God through Jesus, living becomes easy and effortless. When we reason about our life from the mind of Christ, we will share the same thoughts and feel the same feelings which leads to His life manifesting in us effortlessly. It’s important to note that it starts with reasoning about ourselves from the mind of Christ, that Christ is the mind of God about us, that God thought so well of us that the only way to describe it is the most eloquent speech there could possibly be in Jesus Himself. When your mind is renewed to those facts, His life comes forth in us effortlessly. Then when we have the cares of this way come our way, we are immediately able to cast them onto our loving Father because we are fully persuaded of His desires for us. Just like when a baby cries out to its parents when they are young. They don’t spend any time trying to figure it out for themselves. They just cry out to their parents.
In the context of fruit bearing, this not only applies to our lives if we are out of peace, joy and contentment but also in that of others. When we are in relationship with God, we will not only have the same thoughts and feelings God has about us, but also for others. He will highlight needs to us and put desires in our hearts when we are in tune with Him and it won’t be so hard to go and do things for others. It will actually be something that we want to do and it will happen so much easier than us trying to produce it in our own efforts.
Walking in the Cool of the Day
The life described in the section above is what I’m talking about when I refer to walking in the cool of the day. This term comes from Genesis 3:8 in the King James version which says; “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” The word for “in the cool” is translated from the Hebrew word ruach which means breath, wind or spirit. So walking in the cool of the day could also be thought of as walking in the spirit.
Again, walking in the spirit is dwelling in the thoughts and intentions of God towards you. When you do this, that spirit will bring forth fruit, not you. Most Christians have forgotten how righteous and forgiven they are and that hinders their walk with God. If you find yourself or somebody else in this position, restore them by reminding them of God’s thoughts and intentions towards them, not telling them something along the lines of stop doing that stupid. Isaiah said that all of our works are as filthy rags, not just our bad works. He didn’t say this to make us feel bad about ourselves but to let us know that our works are not what God wants. Telling somebody to stop doing something is not effective because it sends people out to try to live the Christian life in their own willpower. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. Remind them of who they are and who God is and trust God to work in their lives.
I know this has had an awesome effect on my life. In the past, I struggled to hear God, however I find myself hearing from God all the time now not even trying to. I struggled with enjoying life in the present, however now I find peace, joy and contentment effortlessly now. I struggled with anxiousness, I now find that I’m much more patient, not even trying to be patient. The list goes on. This is the type of life we were created to experience. The fruit of the spirit is not a bunch of things we are commanded to do in our willpower, it’s the life we experience when we are walking in the cool of the day.
It’s my hope that this book has helped many Christians get free from being frustrated in trying to live the Christian life. Every time we are frustrated it’s because we are not trusting God. Every time we feel burnt out, it’s because we are not trusting God.
I also hope this book has helped redefine the way you look at success, gives you rest and allows you to enjoy your life right where you are. The Christian life shouldn’t be a constant struggle to produce fruit. Fruit happens as a result of relationship. Life will accidentally happen in you as you hang out with God.
Remember it’s not what you know, it’s how you think. When you come to know God as your friend you will become persuaded by Him effortlessly. Also, the focus of ministry is not to get people to do what you want or for them to act differently. Kindness and self-control are fruits of the spirit but being a Christian is not about being a nice, moral person. Being a Christian is about being in relationship with God. Relationship with God will come when you know the one thing that was the theme of this book which is the character of God embodied in Jesus. Everything else happens as a result of that.
Thanks again for reading! If this book blessed you, please share it with others around you. I’d love to stay connected with you on social media at facebook.com/godneedsnewpr or Instagram @dtseidl. If you have any questions or there is anything else I can do to help, feel free to reach out anytime. Grace and peace to you. God bless.