Last week I wrote about being filled with the Spirit. “Filled” is a past tense verb and I must caution my readers that being filled with the spirit is a present tense action. We live in a world that requires us to continually seek God, repent daily and allow the Holy Spirit to be a part of our life. When that’s happening, goal #2 becomes easy.
Live in the Holy Spirit
This goal is going to require an active effort on our part. The amplified Bible explains Galatians 5:25 this way. “If we (claim to) live by the Holy Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit (with personal integrity, godly character and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
To live in the Spirit requires us to imitate Jesus. A popular chorus in the 70’s was “to be like Jesus, …. All I ask, to be like Him.” In college, a chapel speaker suggested we quit singing that because “all” you ask, is a big ask. Nonetheless, we should aspire to be like Jesus, knowing we will not attain that goal. Notice the things mentioned above.
Personal Integrity. The first thing that struck me was “personal”. This is about me, not about the Donald, Joe, or my pastor. This isn’t about comparing myself with anyone else. It’s about me; my character, my behavior. Dictionary.com says integrity is “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” For the Christian, it’s also “adherence” or obedience to Biblical principles. Living in the Spirit requires me to live according to the teachings of Jesus.
Godly Character. Character is the features and traits of your personality. It governs how you talk, act, and think. We are not born with this because “all have sinned”. Becoming “Godly” doesn’t mean being a god. It means we strive to live so God would be pleased with our actions.
Moral Courage. The nerve to stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong. Silence is agreement. It’s never been more important for us to speak out against corruption. It’s never been more unpopular in our world that paints Christians as intolerant. Jim Cymbala says, “There is a tolerance that is cowardly.” Cowardly is the opposite of courage.
So, ALL I need to live in the Spirit is be exactly like Jesus. Before we throw up our hands in despair of that impossibility, let’s look at the end of the verse, “our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit.” Empowered by the Holy Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit, we can have integrity, courage and Godly character.
Live, Reside, Dwell, Inhabit, Exist, Breathe, make your home in the Holy Spirit.
Thinkin’ on that.