A Spirit-Filled Life
Which would you say is more difficult: teaching a Sunday school lesson or loving your enemies? Helping a neighbor or practicing patience with troublesome people? Doing a good deed or holding onto joy in a crisis? Most of us find the latter in each pair more challenging and less rewarding.
Today’s culture admires people who are action-oriented, and we tend to adopt the same standard in the church. There’s an assumption that individuals who are doing the most are the ones filled with the Spirit, but this is not automatically true. Accomplishments do not equal spiritual maturity. The true measure of the Spirit’s control is character, not abilities or achievements.
Though good works and spiritual gifts are God-given avenues for our service, the Holy Spirit is also at work, bringing about spiritual fruit in our life. His goal is an internal transformation whereby Jesus’ character qualities are reproduced in us. Without the fruit described in Galatians 5:22-23, all our efforts at service are worth nothing.
A Spirit-filled life is most readily visible in Christ-like attitudes and interactions with others. As we yield ourselves to His authority and allow God’s Word to dwell richly within our being, He will transform us.