Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 7, 2007

I thought I'd look back 2 years and see what I was posting about.

1 John 2:27
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you all things, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So continue in what he has taught you, and continue to live in Christ.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit By Angela Thomas
There is a difference in the woman who is saved and getting by as best she can and the woman who is saved and living every day of her life filled by the power of the Holy Spirit. The first woman is a carnal Christian. And the second one is a spiritual woman. If we stay with our illustration, we’d say that the second woman is dancing. The first one continues to walk according to her old desires, and the other is being led by the Spirit of God. There is only one degree of choosing that separates these women. But as it turns out, one degree makes all the difference.
When you are saved, several things happen. The Holy Spirit has opened your heart to pay attention and receive the Word of God (Acts 16:14). God has called you and drawn you to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24; John 6:44). The Holy Spirit has crucified the old sinful self (Galatians 5:24) and taken away the power of sin (Romans 6:6). Through repentance, the woman who is saved turns to Christ as her Savior and begins the process of setting aside the sins that have plagued her life. At the beginning of our life in Christ, we are spiritual babies.
Remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians:
Brothers and sisters, in the past I could not talk to you as I talk to spiritual people. I had to talk to you as I would to people without the Spirit—babies in Christ. The teaching I gave you was like milk, not solid food, because you were not able to take solid food. And even now you are not ready. You are still not spiritual, because there is jealousy and quarreling among you, and this shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting like people of the world. —1 Corinthians 3:1–3, ncv
We begin as babies, and it’s important for us to remember that God has great patience with new believers. He understands the weakness by which we begin. Just learning about grace. Only beginning to walk by faith and battle our old sin patterns. The very good news is that there is hope for those of us who struggle in earnest to become women of great faith. There is a place in Christ for the stragglers and beginners and stumblers.
But Scripture says that even though we come to Christ as beginners and stumblers and live a lifetime as just women covered by grace, from our gratitude for God’s magnificent grace to us, we are called to grow up in His mercy. To graduate from baby milk to solid food.
But becoming a mature, spiritual woman requires the next step of choosing. That one degree of difference is the way of becoming a woman of righteous confidence. The woman who is becoming spiritual is being filled and refilled by the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. The abundant, full life that Christ promises in John 10:10 comes to us from the full indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us.
I came to give life—life in all its fullness.—Jesus, John 10:10, ncv
I spent much of my life as a believer not understanding the importance of the Holy Spirit in me and through me. So I don’t mean to make this too simplistic. I don’t want to insult your intelligence or make any assumptions. It’s just that many women do not live in this fullness. If I could take you by the hand and, according to Scripture, walk you step-by-step toward understanding the gift of the Holy Spirit, here’s the way I believe we should begin.
The way out of the rut and into maturity is the step from carnal living over into a spiritual life of growth and becoming. Spiritual maturity is a gradual process by which Christ in us begins to subdue our old sin nature and we become more in tune to the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit becomes more and more evident in our lives as we grow spiritually. Old sins lose their hold. And all this comes to pass as we learn to trust Christ more fully as our daily guide and real friend. Believing that Jesus is for us and learning to live out of that kind of love. This process of maturing happens as we step over into the work of the Holy Spirit.
The first question for us is this: Have you made a conscious decision to step from a carnal life into a spiritual life? Remember, there is one degree of choosing that separates the carnal from the spiritual. Both are saved, one living in power and one not. Before you go any further, stop and consider your own choosing. Have you decided to pursue a spiritual life? Have you consciously made the decision to surrender your heart and your life for the filling of the Holy Spirit? On this day, do you need to recommit to a fresh start?
Your Father so very much wants you to live in power and confidence. He waits to give all that you need. Would you step over today and give your heart fully to the process of growing and becoming a confident woman by the power of the Holy Spirit?
From When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Copyright 2005.
Sometimes, you must stop thinking and and just start feeling.
That said, even the brainiest of intellectuals can live her life filled by the power of the Holy Spirit!

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