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Monday, February 17, 2014

Empowering Us to Live

So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  (Romans 8:12-13 HCSB)

This, to me, is the best part of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.  It's also the part I believe is the most misunderstood universally by believers and non-believers alike.
People who don't "believe" (or at least won't invite God into their lives) will often tell me that they need to "clean up their act" before coming to God or His Church.  They'll even tell me that they intend to come someday - hopefully soon - but that they need to start doing some things better first so they won't be a hypocrite.

Believers often don't do much better in this area.  They will want to fix someone's alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, anger problem, foul language, financial mismanagement, or any other problem before fixing their relationship with God.  Then, when asked about their own sin, that same believer will say, "Well, we're always going to sin.  That's just the way it is.  I'll just keep trying to get better, but I'm never going to get it right."

This passage runs through my mind every time I have one of these conversations.  The only way I can consistently fix a problem in my life is through the power of God.  Let me say it another way.  God's Power is NECESSARY to overcome any problem in my life.

That means that I cannot hope for a friend or relative to fix the problems in their lives without the power of God.  That means that I can overcome and fix any problem in my life through the Power of God.  "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you." (Romans 8:11 NLT)

No, I shouldn't expect someone to change before they have God's Power to change it.  No, I do not need to listen to give in to that temptation - no matter how strong it is - because God's Power (dwelling inside of me) is stronger.  Yes, God is awesome and worthy of my praise.  He has empowered us to walk with Him!