God graciously and mercifully acts in the lives of those who are His. He has redeemed us by the blood of Jesus and the Spirit is at work within us.
God invites me to participate in my renewal and transformation, and yet He's the one that does the work. I don’t fully understand that. I want to be available and do my part, yet still aware that it’s not up to me. However it happens, I do know that the Bible tells us what the Spirit’s work will accomplish.
That according to the riches of his glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians 3:16
An ultimate example of that divine strength is given in Acts 7 when Stephen is given strength to endure being stoned.
But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
I might have thought that strength would look like Samson, taking out the enemies, or being able to flee or be delivered. But the strength that was given was the strength to glorify God while enduring torture.
Obedience and Self Control
The Spirit exerts His restraining influence and gives us strength. If we are relying on the Spirit, aware of His presence and power, He enables us to withstand temptation. We do not need to rely on our power.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
The Bible uses several pictures of the unity or “oneness” of the church (body, temple). It is the Spirit that draws us together despite our differences.
Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
God enables us to work together, equipped with various and differing gifts. This unified body, His church, is strengthened and we can participate in His work in the world.
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Ephesians 4:11-13
Finally, we will see the expression of a Spirit filled life; the very hallmark of His work in us, the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
God is with us. The mystery of the Trinity hints at the richness of His love for us. God is not only Father and Son, He is Holy Spirit and He indwells us as believers. As we are filled with Him and submit to His leading, we will grow in our relationship with this God who loves us and wants to be with us. May I clearly hear His voice and participate in His redeeming work.