12/07/16 The Spirit

READING: Galatians 4-6

I confess that I have given too little attention to the Spirit of God in my life. When I first became a believer some years ago, many churches were afraid to talk much about the Spirit — and we inadvertently missed one Person of the Trinity of God. Paul, though, didn’t make that same mistake. He knew that it is through the Spirit that we become believers, and the Spirit enables us to call God our intimate Father: “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Gal 4:6). Moreover, the Spirit leads us to “eagerly await” the day when God will ultimately declare us righteous (Gal 5:5), perhaps at our death, at the return of Christ, or at the final judgment. 

As we await that time, though, we are to walk by the Spirit, giving evidence of His presence by our “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5:22). Filled by the Spirit of God, we can reject the passions of our flesh and ultimately reap eternal life (Gal 5:16-17; 6:8). And, if a brother or sister falls into sin, we can “restore that person gently” because of the Spirit in us (Gal 6:1). Thus, the Spirit changes us in the past, leads us in the present, and gives us hope for the future. 

Our response is to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal 5:25) — a phrase that means to stand in line with the Spirit like military forces in order. To walk by the Spirit means that we must reject the ways of the flesh (Gal 5:24), love our neighbor as ourselves (Gal 5:14), repent of ego and envy (Gal 5:26), and refuse to grow weary in doing well (Gal 6:9). The truth is that we cannot do any of these things on our own — that is, we cannot sow "to please the Spirit” (Gal 6:8) in our own power — but God enables us through His indwelling presence. 

So, I repeat Paul’s words again: "God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts.” 

GOD lives in us. That’s a miracle we should never take for granted.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • When temptation comes today, remember these words: “God’s Spirit lives in me.”  
  • Using a good Bible dictionary, begin a brief study of the Holy Spirit.          

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your Spirit. Thank You for living in me.”  

TOMORROW’S READING: Ephesians 1-3