30 Aug “In Whose Power?” by Melissa Mitchell
Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness… Who wouldn’t want these characteristics to be true of him/herself? To be gentle and kind, wise and strong. Sounds great doesn’t it?
This past summer I have been taking part in a CCF Women’s Bible study. We are reading a book by Elizabeth George called: A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus. In the book the writer highlights 30 different attributes to grow in Christlike character. It is a challenging book, highlighting aspects of who Jesus is and how we can be more like Him.
You may be familiar with the fruits of the spirit; the Apostle Paul writes of them in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
I think an important thing to note is the opening words: “But the fruit of the Spirit…” It is really only because of the Holy Spirit’s work in us that we can produce fruit, or to have the Christlike character that Elizabeth George writes about.
In our own power and strength we can’t naturally be loving, gentle, good, or kind. When difficult times come our way, we can only summon up a limited amount of inborn peace and joyfulness to get us through.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the trinity. He is a person (not an it, or a force!). He is just as much God as Jesus or the Father. The Holy Spirit provides the power we need to live the Christian life.
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
1 Thessalonians 1:5 “because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.”
Dr. Bright, one of the founders of Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru), talked often about the question: “Who is on the throne of your life?” Basically, who’s in control? Are we yielding to God and the work of the Holy Spirit in us, or are we trying to live the Christian life under our own power?
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can become more like the person God intends for me to be. It isn’t through my own system of good works or self-improvement plan – but by His power and His alone.