Living in the Strength of the Spirit-Filled Life
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:1-3
Stop. Go back. Read the verses for today. What you're reading is some of the harshest language in the New Testament.
Paul is making the point that it was our faith, not our works, that brought salvation and the Holy Spirit into our lives, so it is ridiculous to think that works, and not faith, will finish the work that God began.
If we want to live in the strength of a Spirit-filled life, then we should understand what the priorities of the Holy Spirit are. Here are His top five priorities, in order:
Number one-the finished work of Jesus Christ. The Galatians were beginning to add all sorts of requirements to the work Jesus had already done. Adding works puts the spotlight on us and takes both the Holy Spirit and Jesus out of the picture.
Number two-the truth of God's Word. If you put an overemphasis on either your pastor or the Holy Spirit as your only teacher so that you don't need the Word of God in your own life, then you have gone too far. The Holy Spirit doesn't contradict His Word.
Number three-to provide direction. If Jesus is your Lord, then you do what He says. All our decisions need to be biblically based, but the Bible doesn't say who to marry or whether to take a certain job. It gives principles to point you in the right direction, but not specifics on that kind of thing, so God gave us the Holy Spirit to lead us in His way.
Number four-unity. This only comes as we all recognize that we have died with Christ and it is now His life alive in and through us. Our pursuit of Christ in the truth of His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit is the only way we get to unity.
Number five-providing power. God has a standard for our lives, but we'll never reach it in our own power. We need the Holy Spirit to help us live in the reality that we were crucified with Christ and raised with Him through baptism. Our life is now His life in us, but only the Holy Spirit can make this reality an active truth in our lives.
Don't be like the Galatians today, trying to do life on your own. Instead, live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer Holy Spirit,
I confess that I cannot do life on my own. I know that I died with Jesus, but I need your help to live out that reality. Come and help me! Make me into everything You want me to be!