Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Friday, March 16, 2012
The Work of the Holy Spirit
Read | Galatians 5:16
The Creator has a specific plan for each person’s life, and He has arranged our talents, abilities, and circumstances to fit with these individualized goals (Eph. 2:10). When we connect with our God-given purpose, we feel deep satisfaction and great joy. However, it’s important to understand that we can’t achieve the Lord’s goals on our own; only by His strength and direction are we able to succeed.
In John 16:33, Jesus warned us that trouble is an integral part of life in this world. But easily forgetting how weak we are, we tend to take on challenges in our own strength and resourcefulness. Human nature wants to tackle life by itself and in its own power–and then take credit. So when temptations, trials, criticism, gossip, and persecution assail, many of us have the tendency to go into high gear and try all the harder.
For a while, life may actually seem good this way. But in the long run, self-reliance creates a mess. And it also interferes with the fulfillment of God’s purposes.
The truth is, we sometimes have to experience failure in life in order to realize our complete dependence upon God. He lovingly breaks our pride by showing us that we cannot live fully without following the Spirit’s guidance.
Have you surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s control? Acknowledge your weakness and recognize His power, omniscience, and wisdom. The Lord does not call you to live the Christian life, which is a human impossibility. Rather, He wants you to yield control and let Him live His life through you.
Galatians 5 (NKJV)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Love Fulfills the Law
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 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. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.