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Living in God’s Spirit and Power

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Thankfully, Jesus can save us from our slavery to our sinful nature and empower us by His Spirit to walk in holiness – that we might please God and be free to honor Him!  What wonderful news!  He can give us the power to respond to evil and sin with blessing and good.  This is the foundation for our Christian walk, faith and living out our beliefs in our relationships.

When I do not have God’s Spirit filling me, my life will look like this (Galatians 5:19-21) – if I have ANY of these things going on, it is sin and it is time to repent and turn back to Christ!  My sinful nature is in control when these things are in my life:

  • sexual immorality  (any sexual act committed outside of God’s plan for sex in marriage)
  • impurity
  • debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures)
  • idolatry (putting anything above our desire to know and please Christ – PS – the human heart is an idol factory, we must all CAREFULLY guard against this! It is breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments, “You shall have no other god before Me.”  Exodus 20)
  • witchcraft
  • hatred (this counts as mental murder in God’s eyes I John 3:15)
  • discord (lack of unity and teamwork)
  • jealousy
  • fits of rage
  • selfish ambition
  • dissensions (lots of arguing and disagreements.  Contention. Lack of forgiveness.  Unforgiveness is a huge sin!  Matthew 6:14-15)
  • factions (people split into cliques or groups that don’t like each other)
  • envy
  • drunkenness (would also include drug addiction, using mind-altering substances)
  • orgies
  • etc.

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

 

When the Holy Spirit floods my soul, my life will look like this (Galatians 5:22-23):

  • I will have love for people even when they are unlovable
  • I will have joy even in sickness, difficulties and trials
  • I will have peace even in uncertainty and in the storms of life
  • I will have patience when normally I would definitely NOT have patience!
  • I will have kindness to extend to everyone, even to those who mistreat me
  • I will have goodness to give to everyone
  • I will be faithful to God, to my promises to others and to God’s Word
  • I will respond gently when I am wronged – not in harsh anger, sharp criticism, cussing, screaming, yelling, throwing things, name-calling, character assassination, etc.
  • I will have self-control over my temper, my words, my facial expressions, my tone of voice, my body language – and will bring glory to God through my behavior

LIVING IN THE POWER OF GOD’S SPIRIT

In order to be full of God’s Holy Spirit, several things must take place:

1. I must acknowledge my sin (my many wrongs) to our holy God and accept His gift of Jesus’ death in my place.  Then Jesus becomes my Savior.  He died and took my punishment on Himself so that I could live and take His life and holiness on myself.  

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (made right with God) freely by His grace through the redemption (He bought us back from our slavery to sin with His blood) that came by Christ Jesus.  Romans 3:23-24

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

For it is by grace you have been saved (from sin and separation from God), through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

2. I must surrender my life totally to Jesus – asking Him to be my LORD.  This means I am willing to obey Him no matter what He asks me to do.  This is where SUBMISSION starts in my life.  I begin by submitting completely 100% all that I have and all that I am to Jesus Christ.  In marriage, I will submit to (honor the authority of) my husband BECAUSE of my love and reverence and submission to Christ.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

3. I must not cherish any sin (anything that offends God) in my heart, but must turn away from my sin and turn to God.  If I hold on to sin, or cherish it, in my heart, I grieve God’s Spirit and am not filled with His Spirit’s power.  So then I will begin to act in my sinful nature instead of in the supernatural power of God.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:30-32

Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.  II Timothy 2:19

4. I ask God to fill me, to have me, to be fully in control of my life.  I lay down my rights, my wisdom, my will, my plans.  I die to myself and I pick up His wisdom, His plans, His goals, His will and desire His glory.  I must live in faith, trusting Him to lead me and depending on His wisdom, not my own.

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20

5. I feast on God’s Word, fellowship with other believers, seek godly mentors, accept suffering as discipline and desire to grow and mature in my faith.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.  Philippians 2:12-13

‘The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons…. God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:6-8,10-11

 

10 thoughts on “Living in God’s Spirit and Power

  1. God has been changing me completely and radically since this past New Years. This post perfectly summarizes what He’s been teaching me. That if I am saved and have the Spirit living within me, the fruits of the Spirit must be evident and the fruits of the flesh need to be dead. And that this is not merely a suggestion and ideal for Christians, but the basic requirement of being His child.

    Among many other things, He convicted me of the disresrespectful way I treated my husband and how that affected our entire home. As I was beginning to change, He led me to your blog and it’s been a huge blessing as it constantly reinforces what He is telling me through His word and Spirit. Thank you for being brave for God’s truth!

    1. Ivonnedyck,

      Thank you for sharing and THANK YOU, GOD!!!!! We praise You for the beautiful changes You are making in Ivonne and we cannot wait to see all that You have in store for her!

      Thank you for telling us what God is doing in your heart!

  2. The Greek word “pharmakia” literally means “drugs”, and appears five times in the New Testament: in Gal 5:20, Rev 9:21, 18:23, 21:8, and 22:15.

    “Pharmakia” is translated into our English Bible as either “witchcraft” or “sorceries”. We also get our English word “pharmacy” from the Greek word “pharmakia”.

    The King James Bible translators translated “pharmakia” as “witchcraft”, because almost no one but witches and sorcerers used drugs 400 years ago. Drugs were most commonly used in pagan worship to hallucinate and to try to get in touch with evil spirits.

    In each of the above five passages, “pharmakia”, or “drugs” is listed as a work of the flesh of man as opposed to the Spirit of God working in us.

    April, I imagine, given your expertise, that you may also have some great thoughts on how Christians should think about and use prescribed pharmaceutical drugs within the context of these verses.

    1. RG,

      Thanks for that!

      I actually have HUGE, HUGE concerns about many of the RXs we are selling in our pharmacies. I wrestle with my accountability to God for selling some of the things I do to people. We are selling many mind-altering drugs today. One thing that concerns me is that many times, people take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs to try to cover the consequences of sin – like guilt. No drug can take away spiritual consequences of sin. Only Jesus’ blood can do that. If a believer is taking an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug BECAUSE they won’t confront someone about a sin in a biblical way (Matthew 18) or because they are trying to escape the consequences of their own sin – I think that is wrong. I obviously can’t evaluate every patient for their relationship with God and how they are handling sin. I just fill the rxs people bring to us. But I KNOW that many people are taking these kinds of drugs because they are pursuing unbiblical divorces, or to try to cover up their conscience for some other sin – like unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, etc.

      There are people who are truly medically depressed. I am not in a position to diagnose anyone. But to my brothers and sisters in Christ – I would implore them to examine their true motives before going on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs and even anti-psychotics (which are now used in depression, as well). I want us to use these drugs more responsibly. (If you are taking an anti-anxiety, anti-depressant or anti-psychotic drug – PLEASE do NOT stop taking it suddenly. Your doctor will need to help you wean down off of these things or you can have SERIOUS problems – including suicidal thoughts, and symptoms similar to a nervous breakdown or withdrawal for some of these drugs).

      I also have major concerns about the narcotic abuse going on in our country. We had a patient overdose on one of her pain rxs we had sold to her – a purposeful overdose. That just tears my heart to shreds. I don’t want to be responsible for selling things to people that I know they are addicted to or that they will abuse or use for suicide.

      I have concerns about birth control pills. So many women take it so that they can have sex outside of God’s design. It also alters God’s design for femininity a lot. I used to not question that – but the older I get and the more I study God’s Word and His design for femininity and masculinity – I have concerns that God may hold me accountable for selling those, too.

      And then, of course, there is a MASSIVE problem with meth all across the country – but especially in the area where I work. And the other illegal drugs that are mind-altering. These things permanently change people’s bodies and brains – especially meth.

      Our society wants to just take a pill for many things – without doing the hard work of being responsible stewards.

      Even something like diabetes. MANY type 2 diabetics could control their disease with diet and exercise. But the ones I know – a lot of them will not change their diet or begin to exercise. For some of them, food is seriously an idol. People want a cheap pill with no side effects to make them lose weight or to control their health issues. But they don’t want to eat a balanced, healthy diet or exercise, or cut out stress, or spend time in God’s Word seeking Him, or repent of sin, or cut back on their schedules, or turn off the tv and get more sleep…

      I’m glad we have the medical care we do. It is a blessing.

      But I believe as Christians, God expects us to be wise stewards with our health, our bodies and our priorities. I know He doesn’t want us addicted to anything but Jesus. Addictions are so very destructive. I would like to see people making Christ first and honoring Him as Lord, being godly stewards of all their resources and attempting non-drug treatments and lifestyle changes first (including repenting of any known sin) before taking the drugs when possible.

      Drugs all have side effects. Some of them are pretty nasty.

  3. You are so correct in your thoughts. I really enjoy your insight and fortitude. I think I struggle some with envy, for wanting these things in my life, my wife to change, but, I realize as a man I am accountable only for me and my choices, and sin.

    1. Faithful Servant,

      I am very aware that my blog may be a source of discontentment for husbands who are feeling disrespected. I don’t want to present a stumbling block to anyone, but I know it would be very difficult to read about what God is doing or has done in other wives’ hearts and wonder why He hasn’t changed your wife yet.

      I don’t have answers for that question. Why did it take me 14.5 years of doing marriage the wrong way before God opened my eyes to my disrespect and control? Why did it take almost 3 years for me to learn God’s way? Why do some wives never wake up to their sin? Why couldn’t I have learned this stuff 19 years ago?

      There are a few things I do know.
      – Our God is mighty and sovereign and He can open people’s spiritual eyes.
      – People cannot open other people’s spiritual eyes.
      – God uses all things for our ultimate good and His glory for those who love Him.
      – God began working powerfully in my life when I stopped looking at my husband’s sin and began to focus on repenting for my own mountain of sin and totally yielded myself 100% to Christ as Lord no matter what the results would be.
      – if I focus on what my husband could/should do – even today – I can easily slide into a spirit of discontentment and can easily take my mind off of Christ. I can get into big spiritual trouble very quickly if I don’t keep myself focused on my Lord.
      – I try not to read posts and books about what husbands should do. Especially the first few years of my learning respect, I saw that I would quickly be full of resentment at my husband if I did read these things.
      – I avoid anything that creates a spirit of discontentment in my heart: love songs, romantic books/movies, blogs for Christian men.
      – if I begin to feel upset and disappointed or angry that my husband isn’t doing something, that is my cue to look to see if I have made something more important than Christ to me, and I have to tear that idol out.
      – I must daily die to self and seek God’s will, not mine.
      – I must learn to be content in Christ alone no matter what my husband does or does not do.
      – I apply Philippians 4:8 to my thinking about my husband and marriage and focus on the good things. As I concentrate on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy, the true things, the good stuff grows!
      – I refuse to argue or complain so that I might shine for Christ (Philippians 2)

      For your situation-

      The very same God who changed me and changed my husband is completely able to change you and your wife. It may be that He wants to chAnge you first. What I love about God’s design for marriage is that if even jut ONE spouse begins to obey God and live in the power of His Spirit, God can and will radically change that person. Then He will partner with that one spouse and begin to breathe life and healing into the marriage.

      There is a post on my husband’s blog from Feb 20… the Power of a Husband’s Prayer…about a husband who had a very disrespectful, contentious, controlling wife and he prayed for her and God changed her.

      If you want to see God answer your prayers, you can repent of your sins like I did, and when God is no longer grieved, His Spirit will fill you and He can empower you to become a godly man. You will then be able to ee God answer your prayers in His power, His timing for His will and glory. It may be a long process. But to be close to Christ is so worth it, regardless of the outcome.

      You are in my prayers! You have access to this same Great God! I pray you will be totally pliable in His hands for His purposes to be fulfilled and His greatest glory in Your life!

  4. “I ask God to fill me, to have me, to be fully in control of my life. I lay down my rights, my wisdom, my will, my plans. I die to myself and I pick up His wisdom, His plans, His goals, His will and desire His glory. I must live in faith, trusting Him to lead me and depending on His wisdom, not my own.”

    How do we know what what His wisdom, plans, goals are?
    If I submit to obey? How do I know what I am obeying? I know that sounds weird? But, obeying whatever He wants…how do we know?

    Thanks!
    p.s. great post!!

    1. PLM,

      Great question!

      We know what He has revealed in Scripture. But other than that, I believe we must be willing to accept anything He may bring to us or take away from us. I believe God desires to see our willingness to follow FIRST before He reveals the details. 🙂

      So, focus on obeying what God has clearly commanded in the Bible, focus on wanting to know Him more than anything and on trusting Him and yielding fully to Him. And He will direct your steps. He will not show you what He plans to do for you years from now, most likely. But He will give you light for each step. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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