We face choices every day. As we make these choices, how do we see life from God’s perspective and live in a way that pleases him?
The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to live the Christian life.
Just as our relationship with God depends totally on what God has done through Jesus Christ, so the power to live the Christian life also comes totally from God. To live the Christian life as God intends, we must continually draw upon God’s power through the Holy Spirit. But who is the Holy Spirit, and what does he do?
HE IS GOD
“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us" (1 Corinthians 2:11-12).
HE CAME TO DWELL IN YOU
“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9).
HE CAME TO CONVICT THE WORLD OF SIN AND JUSTICE
“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).
HE CAME TO TEACH YOU THE TRUTH
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
HE CAME TO GLORIFY CHRIST
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:14).
HE CONFIRMS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry,'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children" (Romans 8:14-16).
HE IS THE SOURCE OF CHRIST-LIKE QUALITIES IN YOUR LIFE
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23a).
(Jesus speaking): “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).
(Jesus speaking): “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Not all Christians experience the Holy Spirit’s power
Although the Holy Spirit lives within all Christians, not all Christians are directed and empowered by him. The Bible tells us there are three kinds of people — natural, spiritual, and carnal — representing different responses to God (see 1 Corinthians 2:12-3:3).
The natural person The natural person has not trusted Christ and the Holy Spirit does not dwell in him or her. Christ is not part of the person’s life. The natural person directs his or her own life.
The carnal person The carnal person has also accepted Jesus as Savior, but trusts in his or her own efforts to live the Christian life. This person remains in control of his or her life and acts like the natural person. Christ is in the carnal person’s life, but does not direct it.
The spiritual person The spiritual person has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and trusts in the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life. Christ is not only in this person’s life, but also directs it.
Which of these best represents your life?
You can be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 5:18, God commanded us: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
As we allow the Holy Spirit to fill and control us, he will produce godly character in us and enable us to tell others about Christ.
How do we let the Holy Spirit fill and control us?
Confess all known sin “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18)
Yield every area of your life to Christ “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (Romans 6:12-13).
Trust the Holy Spirit to fill you This is possible only by faith — trusting God to shape your life as you yield control tohHim. All you have to do is ask. God has promised to answer your requests which are in accordance with what he wants for you. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
Since it is God’s will to fill you with his Spirit, you can trust him to do so when you ask. Here is a suggested prayer:
“Dear Father, I know I have been directing my own life and, as a result, I have sinned against you. I thank you for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross. I now invite Christ to take his place on the throne of my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. As an expression of faith, I now thank you for taking control of my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, pray it right now and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to live life in obedience to God. You need to continually confess your sins and trust God to control your life, asking him to fill you with the Holy Spirit.