by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday February 18, 2005
The Holy Spirit, God's Gift to Us
God gave the Holy Spirit to believers for two reasons: to help us to become the person He wants each of us to be, and to enable us to accomplish the work He calls us to do. God understands that we are living in a sinful world. Because of our natural bent away from godliness, living the Christian life would be impossible without help.
When we fail in our vocation or in our relationships, it's because we are not drawing on the inexhaustible well of supernatural power that is within us. This truth became clear to me, thanks to a missionary named Bertha Smith. Ms. Smith had spent 40 years in China, and when I met her, she was already in her late 70s. I shared with her something I was struggling with, and I won't ever forget what she said in reply: "Charles, you are as good as you'll ever be. And you're as good as you ever have been. You won't ever be any better than you are." How discouraging! I wanted to walk away right then. Then she said, "But the Holy Spirit who is living on the inside of you will enable you and He will do it for you. You can't improve your flesh."
Until then, I always thought that if I worked hard enough, I would be a better person. It was a real eye-opener to realize that God does not want my good efforts. We cannot improve what is natural. That is why God places the Holy Spirit within us.
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