Note from Jesus
Dear Precious One,
Live animated by the power of the Father’s “indwelling presence,” the Holy Spirit within you! Your flesh — “your fallen, corrupt nature” — cannot overcome the power and pull of sin unless you live led by the Spirit. As yesterday’s note emphasized, trying to be righteous by law-keeping awakens the power of sin to use your fleshly nature to corrupt the righteous demands of the law and lead you to become enslaved to sin. Your power to overcome your fleshly nature is found when you partner with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work in you.
Today and tomorrow, I want to use Paul’s teaching in Romans chapter 8 to help you recognize what a great gift of grace the Spirit is for you. When you live “animated” — led, empowered, and guided by the Spirit — you are freed from law-keeping that is weakened by your flesh. The Spirit, on the other hand, helps you “live up to the justice demanded by the law” by helping you with “life-giving power” and giving you the assurance that you are the Father’s child. As “you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires [of your flesh], you will experience life.” You will be transformed and liberated to become more and more like Me with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) and begin to more fully display the fruit of the Spirit’s presence in your life (Galatians 5:22-23).
Today, begin to ask the Holy Spirit to take a more forceful lead in your life. Specifically ask the Spirit to transform you to become more like Me each day and to help you display the Holy Spirit’s fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When you pray, address the Father as “‘Abba! Father!’ as [you] would address a loving daddy,” reminding yourself of the precious and tender relationship the Father wants to have with you. When you struggle with doubts about your worthiness or My presence in your life, ask the Holy Spirit to give you comfort. Pray for the Holy Spirit to minister to your spirit continually, even as you sleep. Ask the Spirit to give you discerning eyes to distinguish between God’s truth and the world’s lies and to give you the power to live according to God’s truth.
Verses to Live
Today’s verses are the beginning of an extended teaching from Paul on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within those who are My disciples. Tomorrow we will cover the remainder of his teaching in this chapter of Romans. However, I encourage you to get a notepad or use your computer or mobile device and note the things that are promised about the Holy Spirit in both today’s and tomorrow’s messages. Living by the Spirit liberates you from law-keeping and the power of the flesh to control you. So seek for all that Paul teaches that the Spirit longs to bring you!
Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death. God did something the law could never do. You see, human flesh took its toll on God’s law. In and of itself, the law is not weak; but the flesh weakens it. So to condemn the sin that was ruling in the flesh, God sent His own Son, bearing the likeness of sinful flesh, as a sin offering. Now we are able to live up to the justice demanded by the law. But that ability has not come from living by our fallen human nature; it has come because we walk according to the movement of the Spirit in our lives.
If you live your life animated by the flesh — namely, your fallen, corrupt nature — then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit — namely, God’s indwelling presence — then your focus is on the work of the Spirit. A mind focused on the flesh is doomed to death, but a mind focused on the Spirit will find full life and complete peace. You see, a mind focused on the flesh is declaring war against God; it defies the authority of God’s law and is incapable of following His path. So it is clear that God takes no pleasure in those who live oriented to the flesh.
But you do not live in the flesh. You live in the Spirit, assuming, of course, that the Spirit of God lives inside of you. The truth is that anyone who does not have the Spirit of the Anointed living within does not belong to God. If the Anointed One lives within you, even though the body is as good as dead because of the effects of sin, the Spirit is infusing you with life now that you are right with God. If the Spirit of the One Who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He Who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you.
So, my brothers and sisters, you owe the flesh nothing! You do not need to live according to its ways, so abandon its oppressive regime. For if your life is just about satisfying the impulses of your sinful nature, then prepare to die. But if you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, you will experience life. If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children. You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy. Through that prayer, God’s Spirit confirms in our spirits that we are His children. If we are God’s children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory.
Response in Prayer
O Father of mercy, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I recognize Your presence in Me through the Holy Spirit. I voluntarily submit myself and ask for the Spirit to take control of my heart and my life. I want the Spirit to lead me and empower me. I ask that the Spirit help me put to death the power of the flesh at work within me. I invite the Spirit to transform me to become more and more like Christ each day and give me assurance of being Your child. I do not want to be enslaved to my fleshly nature, O Lord, so transform me through and through by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.