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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Desire and Power of the Holy Spirit


For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

—Philippians 2:13 (NLT)


What a great word!  The Holy Spirit not only gives us the capacity to walk in His power but also puts His desire within us. The Holy Spirit is always drawing us toward God’s will. That pleases Him. But it doesn’t just happen. God puts the desire in us, but we must cooperate with Him.


When we believed in Christ, we were spiritually reborn (2 Corinthians 5:17) and sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). The old man was crucified with Christ. The new man was born, filled with the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead came to live within us (Romans 8:11), but our human minds can’t understand the righteous power of God we have received and the truths of the new person we are in Christ. We can only understand our new identity in Christ spiritually (1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 2:17).


How can we be new? We see our faults and our imperfections. We know we can’t measure up to the righteousness of God. But we are newly reborn spiritually. To experience the new life received when we were born again, the truths of our new birth have to mold and transform our lives in God’s image. We do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to spiritually change our understanding and conform us to the truths of the new creation we are in Him (Romans 12:2). 


Jesus has done His part. His work is finished. It is up to us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds and put on our new nature in true righteousness that is ours in Christ (Ephesians 4:23-23). We must believe and appropriate by faith what God's grace has given us. When we believe—when we take by faith what God says about our new identity in Christ, we put on the righteousness that is ours in Him. When we put on our new nature, the flesh is crucified not by any work of righteousness we have done, but according to God’s grace by which He saved us (Titus 3:5).


“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12, NKJV).


Salvation is the gift of God that can only be received through grace by faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Holy Spirit working within us can only be experienced by faith in Christ. The Spirit stirs within us the desire to take our salvation to its greatest potential—to be more like Christ. Philippians 2:13 reveals there is a divine power that motivates us and is able to achieve God’s purpose within us. This calls for our response— to work out our salvation. Working out our salvation is not working to be saved. It is surrendering to the instruction of the Holy Spirit to understand what we have received in Christ. We take by faith what is ours in Christ. When we cease trusting in ourselves and instead trust the power of God working within us, we work out our salvation. 


Submitting to God is allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you. Cooperating with God is agreeing with the truth of your identity in Christ. And it takes effort to know who you are in Christ. The Holy Spirit has come to reveal to your mind and heart the new person who was reborn in your spirit. But in your mind unbelief, old habits, and old sins still plague you. Learning His truth and believing the new person you are in Christ is how Christ comes alive in you. Walking in the Holy Spirit is the way to successfully conquer sin and not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Knowing your identity in Christ and walking in the Spirit opens you spiritually to know His desire and His power to fulfill His will. We learn with fear and trembling because His truth challenges the lies of the old person who is now dead and gone. His truth comes against the lies that we allow to define us. We must step out in faith to take on the truths of the new person we are in Christ. 


“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3, NKJV).


God has given us everything we need to live a life that honors Him. He is working within us giving us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. 


You are reborn and filled with all the fullness of God in your spirit (Colossians 2:9-10). Learn the new nature that is yours in Christ. Cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Appropriate by faith what Christ has paid the price for you to have. Draw into your mind and heart the truths you have received in His finished work of grace until you believe it in your heart. Know who you are in Jesus, and walk in Him.


The Holy Spirit is your tutor. He gives you the desire and the power to live the truths of the Word. There is no fullness—there is no righteousness and joy—there is no peace like knowing Christ working in and through you (Romans 14:17)!  Christ in you is your hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)!


“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).


© 2024 Lynn Lacher











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