Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spirit of the Living God

Romans 8:11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by the same Spirit living within you

That first line, read it, take it in. Pause and think about having the SAME Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living in you. He doesn’t visit on the holidays, or occasionally chit chat, no he LIVES in me. No matter where I go, what I do, who I see that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is with me. The Spirit that parted the Red Sea, crushed the walls of Jericho and fed 5000 people lives in me. It’s humbling and I am the last person to deserve it. As the Easter story unfolds and as I celebrate God conquering death I pray that I remember that the same Spirit that accomplished all of this lives within me and I pray that day after day He leads me.

Romans 8:12 So dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what the sinful nature urges you to do.
I have four words for you. Easier. Said. Than. Done. But Paul knew. Paul speaks from experience. Sometimes the urge to sin is SO overwhelming. To just give in, just once, is so much easier than a constant battle. We think about the here and now, the temporary taste of satisfaction. We have those limitations but we don’t have to give in. Sure, it feels like we do. It seems that we’ll get no rest until the sinful nature is appeased, but that’s not God. God destroyed sin’s hold over us. We have a choice. We won’t win every battle…but we’ve already won the war.

Romans 8:13 For if you keep on following it you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.
By the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it. Not yourself. When “you” is mentioned alone, so is the word “perish,” that’s what will happen. When we live life according to ourselves and our rules, we die. End of story.
But for Christians it’s not the end. We have the Holy Spirit to get us through temptation. Just as Jesus wasn’t alone when he was tempted neither are we. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we turn away from sin. Does this mean we are failures if we sin? YES. But thankfully God doesn’t look at us, He sees His Son, the sacrifice, and welcomes Him and His friends in as if they were His own.

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