When the Holy Spirit leads
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The 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. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses…But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:16-18, 23
When you look at the life God wants you to have, you find it intimidating. You realize that you need to produce the life of Christ within you manifested through the Christian virtues the Apostle Paul enumerated from the text. They seemed to be impossible to produce through your own strength and abilities, and they are. But once you realize that they are the fruit of the Spirit living and working in you, you come to understand that they could be seen once you yield to His leading. The moment you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit already started His divine work to produce Christ’s character in you. The Holy Spirit works from just one model, Jesus Christ. He will work in you to reproduce Christ’s character so you could reflect Christ. “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son” (Romans 8:29). The unconditional love that Jesus manifested will continue to grow in you because the Holy Spirit will immediately begin helping you experience and practice the same love that Jesus had. The joy that only Jesus gives will now fill you. When Jesus was mocked and beaten, he exhibited peace that the Holy Spirit will instill in your heart that will help you when you experience the same suffering Jesus experienced. When Jesus was dealing with the crowd and His disciples, He showed patience when they were not willing to listen and follow Him. The Holy Spirit in you is developing the same patience. Jesus’ kindness showed toward children and sinners is also the kindness you will start to demonstrate even when treated badly because of your faith. When others see the goodness of your heart, there is only one that you need to be grateful for, the Spirit within you. Jesus remained faithful to the Father’s will and the same will happen to you as you let the Spirit helps you discover God’s will for your life. Jesus went through trials and temptations yet without sin, the Spirit will teach you self-control so that you will have strength to do what is right and to resist temptation. All of these Christian virtues are manifestations of your submission to the working of the Holy Spirit. Remember that you do not have to manufacture it on your own; all you need is to depend and completely yield to the Holy Spirit’s activity within you. “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Galatians 5:25).
Noel De Guzman Westside Baptist Church Los Angeles, CA