Imagine how Peter must have felt when Jesus announced He was going away. The impulsive disciple had a tough time following when the Lord was standing ten feet away; how much more difficult would obedience and loyalty be if Christ wasn't around to offer encouragement? We can certainly understand the disciples' fear and frustration. No one can follow Jesus in his or her own strength. But thankfully, we're not left to figure life out by ourselves. We have a Helper.
For many years I had the idea that, though my salvation was by faith, God's approval had to be earned. So I did my best but never felt it was good enough. I struggled, failed, tried again, and failed once more. I am grateful the Lord directed me to His better way.
Because God wants His children to experience victory, He equipped them with the Holy Spirit. When we yield to Him, He empowers us, guides us, and expresses the ways of Jesus Christ through our character, conversation, and conduct. On paper, this looks like a passive sort of existence, but in fact, we are constantly confronted with the responsibility to make a choice: we can either follow the Spirit's promptings or act in our own strength. The latter frequently ends in despair, disaster, or both.
Think about those days when you are "too busy to pray"—or the times you think, Why bother God when there isn't much going on? The truth is, you're then relying on yourself. But even when life is routine and boring, the Father wants us depending upon His Spirit to guide us on paths of righteousness.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
You can now read the Scriptures in Dr. Stanley's favorite teaching translation -- the New American Standard -- while learning the 30 Life Principles that have guided him for more than 50 years. The new NASB Life Principles Bible will enhance your personal study time through explanation of key passages, plus helpful resources like "Answers to Life's Questions," concordance, maps, and much more. Available in leather and hardcover.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.