I'll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. (Ezekiel 36:27 The Message)
I ended our meditation on John 17 by saying we will be motivated, or compelled, to walk in his ways and to delight in doing his will.
Many who try hard to walk in his ways and do his will end up becoming discouraged as they feel it is an impossible task. Well it is. It's impossible to do this is our own strength. We can try, and for a time we may succeed. We see fruit and experience God's blessing for a season and feel we are being successful. Whenever we do anything in our own strength or through our own effort we will, ultimately, end up becoming worn out.
And yet, we are taught that doing his will is a good thing.
When we see with the eyes of our mind we see what he does, so we imitate this and as a result we end up living a works based life, seeking to please him through our activity.
When the eyes of our heart are opened we see who he is. When we see him, we are changed. Paul prays, in Ephesians 1, that we would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who God really is. We start to see him as the Glorious Father.
Not only do we receive a new heart and a new spirit, we also receive the gift of the Father's spirit. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives within us that causes us to do the very things we find so hard in our own strength. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live like Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to cry out "Abba, Father". It is the Holy Spirit who sets us free from the law of sin and death that, for so long, has prevented us from walking in his ways.
Anything we do for him must flow out of our relationship with him. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14, it is good to desire spiritual gifts but more important is making love our greatest aim. Living in love is walking as Jesus walked and, as we do, we will discover we automatically delight in doing his will.
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Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU