Transformed by the Spirit
The filling of God’s Spirit in our lives is reflected through both the continual maturing process by the Spirit to reflect God’s character and by the Spirit’s filling that results in boldness to proclaim Christ and empowerment to act. Jesus lived his life full of the Spirit (Luke 4:1) and all believers are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
The New Testament presents a picture of people without God, who are motived by their own desires and passions, experience the consequences of sin, are unable to perceive God, and are unable to understand God’s ways. Those who have put their faith in Christ continue to face the tension of living by the flesh or living according to the Spirit (Romans 7:14-20). We are all in need of being transformed by God’s Spirit! Transformation is a continual process where we are called to present ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life (Romans 6:11-14; 12:1-2). The Spirit transforms believers into the likeness of their Creator, reflected in the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Colossians 3:9-11).
Our response is to walk with the Spirit, which parallels Jesus’ invitation to his disciples to abide in him and to follow him. Walking with the Spirit requires being conscious of his presence in our lives and focusing our mind or attention on him (Romans 8:5-9). When we walk with the Spirit, we must be willing to submit ourselves to his leading and guidance in our lives (Galatians 5:16-18).
The fruit of the Spirit is a result of living by the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25). These “fruits” are expressed primarily through our relationships - where we look to the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-5), clothe ourselves with the character of Christ (Colossians 3:12-17), and seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:1-3). When we think about “bearing fruit,” what comes to mind may be what we do for God. However, the fruit of the Spirit is primarily about who we are as children of God.
The Scriptures warn us about grieving God’s Spirit by rejecting his work in our lives (Eph 4:26-31). God’s Spirit is the “divine power” that he has given, who provides us with everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-8).
How can you “set your mind” on the things of the Spirit today?