In a conversation with a friend, we discussed this question from a study, “Is it possible to be a Christian and not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.”
If you regularly attend church, scripture may be flying through your head and if not, you may be wondering what I am talking about. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a large topic so I am going to narrow in on a passage for this chat today in Galatians 5.
Grab your coffee.
First off, are we supposed to be indwelled with the Holy Spirit?
Yes, Jesus said so.
John 14:15-17, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:25-26, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
This snippet of scripture is Jesus talking with His disciples. From these verses we see 1) Jesus names the Holy Spirit, 2) is very clear He will come after Jesus is gone, 3) His job is to guide us in truth with God’s Word and 4) the world will not know Him or understand.
To know if we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit we must understand what it would look like. Science says to look for the evidence, so let’s see what scripture says.
First of all, we must understand that the Holy Spirit had a unique job all of His own. He is our personal intercessor on our behalf, not an “it”. Whether we call Him our conscience or our personal guidance counselor, it is the Holy Spirit indwelling in us. He assists us to walk the narrow path, becoming Christ-like.
The indwelling intercessor living in us, guiding us, has attributes so there will be evidence presented in our lives. Much like God has attributes (Sovereign, Holy, Immutable, Omnipotent Omnipresent, Omniscient, Loving, Truth, Merciful, Just, and Righteous) so do the others in the trinity, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. No human can demonstrate these attributes on their own. We are selfish, sinful human beings. There is not one person alive we should be comfortablesaying has never lied let alone is perfectly merciful. So it should be clear then we need help to lead a life of good character, thinking less of self and more of others; having that perfect servant heart. Here lies our need for the least sung part of the trinity, the Holy Spirit.
Having a truly repentant heart and being indwelt with the Holy Spirit should and will change us.
Galatians 5:16-18 writes that when we walk in the Spirit it will look different from when we were of this world.
The passage continues in versus 19-21 discussing what it looks like to walk in the flesh. This is the evidence in our lives when we choose to follow the world and go along with their moral codes and laws. It speaks loudly when we align with a worldly standard making unethical choices and looking to idols who seems to creatively find new ways to shock us with their bad behavior. It is easy to see the pain of people all around us struggling with addiction to shopping, sex, drug use, or gambling. Struggling with debts, road rage, cursing, or putting selfish needs above everyone around them. Communities struggle with materialism, never having enough, and hatred for people who think differently than they do. People use manipulation, backstabbing, and lying to get ahead in the workforce. We could go on and on; we know what this looks like; we live in it every day.
Then comes the part of this passage people quote most often. It is encouraging, uplifting, full of good cheer. Verses 22-23 describe what it is like if you are indwelt and walking with the Holy Spirit.
If you have prayed the prayer of salvation, asking Jesus to come into your heart cleansing you of all your sin and have true repentance you ARE indwelt with the Holy Spirit. He is your guide and intercessor. He helps you to make positive changes in your life which should begin to look like versus 19-21. We all walk our own path and but there should be some evidence of Fruit in your life. If not, I suggest you to evaluate whether you truly were saved and have chosen to walk in Christ’s likeness. If nothing in your life has changed then Christ is not in you because light always outshines darkness. Ask yourself, “Did I pray; was I truly repentant?” If there is no fruit showing in your life, something is in the way. What are you holding onto? Go back and look through verses 19-21 again.
As we grow in Christ we should begin to shed the things of this world. This is not an overnight process and this will need to be looked at through the rest of our lives. This is a journey, not a magic carpet ride.
Looking back over the passage of what is usually seen and talked about as either good or evil, I now see grace. Grace because this is where we all start, regardless of where we began. I see grace because we all falter back into old habits at times. Grace because we are to meet everyone where they are to mentor them along, not judge. Grace is given to us by God and He does so willing and in abundance. He loves us more than our earthly minds could ever comprehend and as any parent wants the best for us. He is our creator and we are made in His likeness. Jesus is our mediator and died for our sins once and for all so we can join our holy Father in heaven. The Holy Spirit is our intercessor and pleads on our behalf, guiding us but we must be willing and obedient to the whispers in our heart.
You are not enough. Stop relying on your own strength that will only fail you. Stop relying on your own wisdom which is foolishness. Jesus said, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.”
There is no other way but there is no better way!
Find joy and peace in your struggle of life by never walking it alone. Don’t settle for a life of questions but KNOW you are a Christian. Your life speaks for itself so what does it say?
We only lie to ourselves; the world can see our truth and God knows the answer.
If you want more of Jesus and less of you, if you need to pray the salvation prayer and receive Jesus, if you need discipling to settle questions in your mind or heart, I am here for you.
God is here for you.
No fear; be bold,
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