God’s Role and Our Role

So last time we looked at the good work that is already going on in our lives by the Holy Spirit…that our inner being (heart) might take on more and more the image of Jesus that we might live like and love others like Jesus. “…until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:9). So exactly HOW does the Holy Spirit bring about this incredible metamorphosis in us?

Here some verbs we find in Scripture associated with the work of the Spirit in our lives:  abides, dwells, fills, sealed, testifies, guides, shows, leads walks,  anoints, clothes, quickens, liberates, strengthens, empowers, supplies, lives in, convicts, reveals…that’s a lot of activity! There is a tremendous amount of energy, creativity, and movement already on-going in our lives.  The “heavy” in our transformation lies with the work of the Spirit, not us.  Yet, too often, we think it’s up to us to make the Christian life “work.” And, of course, if we think it’s up to us, it keeps us in the place of control where we are more concerned about fixing problems and mastering principles. The spiritual life soon deteriorates into a life of meaningless obligation and empty duty.

So what’s our part in all this? I think keeping in step with the Spirit requires not so much doing for God but paying attention to what God is already doing.  Our responsibility is simply to co-operate with this great work he is already doing in our lives. 

How do we do that? 

Let’s look at some of the verbs associated in how we co-operate with him? Abide, “stay at home,” pause, notice, open, yield, surrender, obey and respond. These are all ways in which we train ourselves to pay attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Here’s the incredible thing…Once we realize the Holy Spirit is active in us to help us live a life pleasing to God…

  • We willing to give up control of our carefully constructed lives!  We finally embark on the lifelong adventure of turning away from our own plans and …actually…lean into God’s creative, disruptive, mysterious ways in our lives.
  • We approach God with a sense of wonder, curiosity, and vulnerability. We ask questions like, “I wonder what God is up to in this?”
  • We release our expectations of what we think our lives should look like and receive the life he wants to give us.

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