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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cooperating with the Holy Spirit

In summary of Ephesians 4:22-24 it says, “22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

Bottom Line:
Get rid of your old sinful nature and way of life which had been corrupted by lust and deception.  Instead let the Spirit renew your thoughts/attitudes, allowing you to put on your new nature, like that of God.

What this means to me:
This verse reminds me to get rid of my old self and the way I was living; a life corrupted by the deceitful desires.  Instead look to the holy spirit to renew my thoughts and attitudes so that I can put on my new self; one created in the likeness of God - truly righteous and holy.  As illustrated in numerous stories in the Bible, the Holy Spirit releases his power the moment I take a step of faith.  One example is when Joshua was faced with an impassible barrier, the flood waters of the Jordan River receded only after the leaders stepped into the rushing current in obedience and faith. Obedience unlocks God's power.  So this means I should not wait to feel powerful or confident, but rather move ahead in my weakness, doing the right thing, in spite of my fears and feelings. This is how I can cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and it he will help develop my character.  In this passage Paul explains three responsibilities in becoming like Christ:

  • First, we must choose to let go of old ways of acting. "Everything . . . connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it!" (Ephesians 4:22 MSG)
  • Second, we must change the way we think. "Let the Spirit change your way of thinking." (Ephesians 4:23 CEV) The Bible says we are "transformed" by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2)
  • Third, we must put on the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits. Your character is essentially the sum of your habits; it is how you habitually act. The Bible says, "Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:24 NIV)
In summary the Holy Spirit will release his power when I take a step of faith.  My obedience will unlock God’s power.