by Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday December 13, 2004
When the Holy Spirit Is in Charge
A Spirit-filled life does not mean one that is problem-free. Christians who are under the control of the Holy Spirit are still going to have difficulties, make mistakes, and fall into sin. But there are two definite distinctions that separate Spirit-filled believers from other Christians and from unbelievers. They are not controlled by circumstances and they refocus quickly when they sin.
When the Spirit is in charge, then our attitudes will not be determined by what is going on around us. Life won't have to be stress-free in order for us to be at peace. Our spiritual joy will not lessen because we have met with disappointment. We will even try to respond with patient kindness to those who criticize us.
Anyone can be loving, kind, and self-controlled in seasons of blessing. But what happens to our attitudes in the worst of times? The real test of who we are occurs not when things are going our way but when misfortune happens. If the Spirit is in charge, we will learn to: love when we want to hate; practice kindness when we are accused; give a gentle response when others are harsh; and have self-control when temptation strikes us hard.
None of us will do this perfectly because there is still "self" within us. But when we sin, we will respond quickly to the Spirit's prompting. He will not have to work hard to get our attention because we are under His rule. We will recognize our wrong action, confess it and refocus on God's ways.
Who controls you?
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!