by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday December 10, 2004
A Spirit-Filled Life
Which would you say is more difficult - to teach a Sunday school lesson or to love your enemies? What about helping a neighbor or practicing patience with troublesome people? Which is harder - doing a good deed or holding onto joy when a crisis hits? Most of us find the latter in each pair more challenging and less rewarding. Yet it is our character that reveals whether we are Spirit-filled, not our abilities or accomplishments.
We live in a world that admires people who are goal-centered and action-oriented, and we tend to adopt the same standard in the church. We assume that those who win many people to Christ, or who are eloquent preachers, strong Bible teachers, or leaders of Christian ministries are Spirit-filled Christians. It is not automatically true. Remember the Spirit-led life means letting the Holy Spirit be in charge. Only those who are submitting their decisions, actions, and relationships to His authority will be sensitive to the Spirit's promptings and learning to respond quickly to His leadership. Accomplishments do not equal spiritual maturity.
Although works, gifts, and talents have an important place in the kingdom of God, the Spirit's goal in a believer's life is to produce spiritual fruit. (Galatians 5:22-23) God desires an internal transformation to take place in us, one where the character qualities of Jesus are made our own. He places great importance on who we are becoming.
What does a Spirit-filled life look like? It is a life that is growing in the qualities of love, joy, and other fruit of the Spirit.
Need gift ideas? The 2004 In Touch Christmas Catalog is here. Visit the In Touch online bookstore for more information.
Teen Connection is the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to tell your teen about this cutting-edge web site filled with practical content for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for December is best-selling singer/songwriter Bebo Norman. Check out Teen Connection today!