THURSDAY– Living by the Spirit’s Power
Big Point: Are you living by the Power of the Holy Spirit?
The following is an excerpt of a children’s story by Richmond Park Church in the United Kingdom on how to live by the Holy Spirit:
“One day George and Susan went to the fair. They went upside down on the roller coaster. They bumped into each other in bumper cars. They won a stuffed animal. Next on the agenda was the creepy “house of horrors.” George did not want to go. Susan teased him that he was too scared.
“It doesn’t feel right,” George explained. “Scared is different. It’s like an alarm bell ringing inside of me, warning me not to go any further. It’s God’s way of letting me know there are things in the ‘house of horrors’ he’s not happy about.”
“How did you get an alarm bell inside you?” asked Susan.
“God put it in me because I’m friends with Jesus. He’s called the Holy Spirit. He’s not just an alarm bell. He does other stuff too,” said George.
“Like what?” inquired Susan.
“Like when I read Bible stories with the Holy Spirit, I know exactly what part of the story that God wants me to learn about and I understand every word of it. It’s like having someone sit next to me and explaining what the difficult parts mean. And when I’m sad He makes me feel better. Like getting a hug on the inside. And He gives each person something different that they can be good at, so that they can use that thing to help each other.”
“So the Holy Spirit is like an alarm bell, a teacher, a hug and a giver of useful things,” summarized Susan.
“Yes He is!” said George.
“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”
Corrie Ten Boom
READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
Now we’re going to look at Galatians 5:16-26 a little bit at a time and learn what these verses say about living by the Holy Spirit’s power.
According to Galatians 5:16-18, who is supposed to guide our lives? What does our sinful nature want us to do? What does the Holy Spirit want us to do?
Galatians 5:16-18 (New Living Translation)
16So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
According to Galatians 5:19-21, what are the results of following our sinful nature? What will we lose by living this way?
Galatians 5:19-21 (New Living Translation)
19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
According to Galatians 5:22-23, what fruits does the Holy Spirit produce in our lives?
Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
According to Galatians 5:24-26, what have Christians done with the passions and desires of their sinful nature? In what part of our lives should we follow the Holy Spirit’s leading?
Galatians 5:24-26 (New Living Translation)
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
LIVE…What will you do now?
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit—our fears are taken away, our longing for God is satisfied, we will overflow with love, we become free from judging ourselves by the good that we do or becoming despondent over our failure to do good. Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your life? Why or why not?
When do you follow the desires of your sinful nature?
Everyone needs help in developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). What fruit of the Spirit have you developed in your life? Where do you need help?
PRAY…God, what do you want me to know and do?
Again, thank God for the Holy Spirit that is with us always. Ask God to help develop in you ALL the fruits of the Spirit.