The daily work of God's Holy Spirit Pt. 1 (galatians 5:16-18)

February 29th, 2024

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

What is the Christian life really about? What is it that comes to mind when you think about the lifestyle of Christianity? There are probably a number of things that have immediately entered your thoughts. Possibly attending church on Sunday mornings, being kind and loving toward others, giving to the poor, reading the Bible etc. Certainly, each of these things can be components to the Christian life but our passage today plunges us just a bit further. I want us to deeply consider the work of the Holy Spirit in our present lives. Do we recognize His work? Have we missed His purpose for our lives? Or perhaps maybe we have grown distant from His power. Let us meditate on these questions today.

It is good for us to realize that the daily working of a Christian or a believer is what God is most concerned with. He is not just simply concerned with your thoughts and behaviour on Sundays. He is undoubtedly working over time each day to conform you to the image of His son, Jesus Christ from one level of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the highest priority of God the Father as He relates to each of His children. While we might be consumed with when our next promotion at work will be, when our health will finally be in order, when our family situation will finally be resolved or when we reach the completion of all our aspirations in life, God might be concerned with something entirely different. This is precisely what the Bible speaks of time and time again. God is infinitely preoccupied with the saving work He began in you. So much so that He has vowed Himself to you in a wedded pledge that He will go on to perfect this good work He initiated (Philippians 1:6). In fact, He is coming back for us so that we may be presented to Him as a radiant bride without stain, wrinkle or any other blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27). This all points to the fact that you and I are not a finished product just because we have received salvation in Christ. That new beginning we received was only the creation of a blank canvas upon which the Lord might recreate you into His own workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).

This is the work that God is most obsessed with and it grants to us a whole new perspective by which to view our lives. Perhaps the trials and troubles of our present moment has been sovereignly allowed by God in order to prune and purge us into our next level of sanctified living. While we are praying so desperately for things to change, God might be using that very thing to draw us closer and closer to His own heart and image. I encourage you to take a moment and consider that reality in your own life today.

Now, with all this in view, it is supremely encouraging to discover that God has not left us alone in this process of becoming more and more like Christ. He has graciously deposited in all of us the fullness of His own Holy Spirit. This is the mighty breath of God that anointed Christ in His earthly life, and the same supernatural power that raised Him from the dead (Romans 8:11). God's very own Spirit now resides within all of us as if we were all temples of the living God (1 Corinthians 3:16). Therefore, we have every reason possible to respond to the above passage with readiness and faith. God has actually empowered us to walk by the Spirit because we already possess Him in the fullness.

I pray that we meditate upon this divine access today. You do not have to run to a pastor or a church to receive some other baptism of the Spirit. You do not need to put yourself under the influence of some spiritual high to feel the power of the Spirit. We are not to spiritually numb ourselves away and out of our difficult life circumstances and trials. We would be missing the whole point if we did that! God's Spirit doesn't teach us to ignore life's difficulties, He teaches us to face them and even embrace them. When our human flesh drives us to anger, bitterness, depression and hopelessness, the Holy Spirit awakens faith, joy, peace and hope. When our human flesh weighs us down into the depths of darkness, the Holy Spirit lifts us up on wings that we might soar above the valleys of this life.

Are you battling life's trials, temptations and troubles with your own spiritual strength? Are you using fleshly might to persevere and push through? Are you depending on your own power to fight your way through life? Listen to the word of the Lord today. Confess the sheer weakness of your flesh and then abandon it. Call upon the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit and access the unlimited power of God for your every moment. Stay tuned for our devotional next week as we continue our discussion on the Holy Spirit.

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