Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken some of the mystery out of the Holy Spirit. We’ve learned that the Holy Spirit is our Best Friend, is the Life-Giving Breath of that empowers us daily, and that He has great gifts that He wants to give to us and work through us. This week, we are going to turn our focus to the holy part of the Holy Spirit.
- Read Romans 8.1-9, 13.
In the Old Testament, spiritual life was guided by an external set of rules. Today, God has given us the Holy Spirit to create an internal change, purifying and guiding us at a heart level. However, many Christians still try to live by external rules. Sets of external rules are simply religion, but God longs for us to have so much more. God longs for relationship with us empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Question: What tends to guide your life: external rules or the Holy Spirit? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to deeply move within you, or are you relying on your own strength to do right? Explain.
One of the main roles of the Holy Spirit is to do a purifying work within us. He empowers us to overcome the war within as our spirit is drawn to idolatry, our soul to pride, and our body to lust.
Our spirit is drawn to idolatry
- Read Exodus 2.3.
Idolatry is loving anything or anyone more than God; it’s a distraction that pulls our focus away from God. Today, we are often pulled to the god of possessions. We trust money, status, relationships, career moves, cars, or vacations to satisfy us rather than trusting in God.
Question: Matthew 6.24 states that we cannot serve both God and money. When have you tried finding satisfaction in possessions? What was the result of doing so?
Our soul is drawn to pride
- Read Galatians 5.22-23.
Our soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions. Often, our soul is compromised by pride; we think of ourselves more than anything else. This creates an unhealthy view of ourselves, others, and God It also harms our relationship with others.
Question: When have you struggled with pride? What impact did it have on you, your loved ones, and your relationship with God? What would it look like to make God, rather than yourself, the center of your life?
Our body is drawn to lust
- Read 1 Corinthians 6.19-20.
Our body is often drawn to lust. Lust occurs when the desires of our body control us; we allow physical pleasures to tell us what to do rather than taking charge of our actions. Lust isn’t just limited to sexuality: it includes other physical desires such as overeating, indulging in drugs, and oversleeping. Giving into lust harms our thought life, health, and relationships. The Holy Spirit pulls us to turn away from our lustful desires and helps us embrace that God is Lord of our lives and we are not.
Question: How have you turned from lust and surrendered your body to God?
The Holy Spirit in Me
- Read Ezekiel 36.26-27.
Trying to live the Christian life on our own strength will only lead to frustration; we need the Holy Spirit to lead us. We need to ask Him to show us what needs to change in our lives. We cannot change what we can’t see. When we ask the Holy Spirit to search us and show us what’s offensive in our hearts, He will show us the danger of our wrong choices. While we may only be focused on the short-term, the Holy Spirit helps us understand the long-term consequences of our behavior. For example, a person may believe that there is no harm in viewing porn. However, the Holy Spirit could show the individual how such an act could distance them from God as well as harm future relationships.
We also need to ask the Holy Spirit to change and purify us. When we ask and allow Him to change us, we will see an immediate change.
Finally, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with Himself. Being ‘filled with the Spirit” is not so much about how much of the Holy Spirit we have, but rather how much of us He has. It is allowing Him to have full control of our lives. The Holy Spirit longs for us to live a life dependent on Him and growing in relationship with Him. In doing so, we will live a life of peace, strength, rest, power, and victory.
Question: In what ways are you allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you? What is He showing you and changing in you. How is He filling you?
The Holy Spirit desires to help us live holy lives. He wants to help us move away from external change to internal, lasting heart change. Through His power, we can win the war waged against our spirit, soul, and body. When the Holy Spirit is guiding, changing, and filling us, we can live the glorious life that God intended for us.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]