Maybe one of the more surprising statements made by Christ was when he told his disciples, “It is for your good that I am going away” (John 16:7). What could be better for their lives than to physically walk through life with the Son of God? If they had a question, they could ask him. If they needed help or guidance, he was right there with them. Jesus was unquestionably clear, though, their situation was getting ready to improve, because he was leaving. “Unless I go away,” he told them, “the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7). Jesus had previously hinted at this improvement when he said that this Counselor, the Holy Spirit, “lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). So the Spirit that was around them would one day live within them. Jesus later explained that when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, they “will receive power” (Acts 1:8). So although they did not understand it, and although it is commonly misunderstood today, their situation was transitioning from having the presence of God walking beside them to the presence of God residing within them. This certainly would be an improvement, but what are the implications for today? What do the Scriptures teach us about the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Scripture offers both examples and teachings about God’s Spirit. When Paul and his companions were looking for guidance, Acts tells us that “they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to” (Acts 16:7). In another place we are taught to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), and that when we do, the presence of God’s Spirit will be evidenced by specific fruit in a person’s life. This fruit of God’s Spirit is contrasted in Scripture to the “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16-25). The presence of God’s Spirit is evidenced by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, but the evidence of the flesh is seen in sexual immorality, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, and more. We see then in Scripture that the authentic follower of Christ discovers the grace of living by the unlimited strength of God’s presence and guidance rather than living by their own very limited strength and perspective of their flesh.
Spiritual Fitness Check
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Signs You're Living It Out
Ever-increasing presence of the fruit of the Spirit in one’s life
A growing conversational relationship with God throughout one’s day
An identifiable decrease in sin’s appeal or grip
A growing ability to discern God’s guidance throughout one’s day
Spiritual Fitness Check
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This bible study gives a holistic look through Scripture at the Stay Connected to God's Spirit outcome. Engage thought provoking questions for individual reflection & then discuss them in your Life Group or Running Partner... Read More
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The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.
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