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God is in Charge of You

Romans 8:9
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (NIV)

The good news is that if you are in Christ, Christ is in you. That is still true despite our sinful nature and its distractions to take us away from fellowship with God. When we submit to the gospel, repent and receive Jesus, He sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts because we belong to Him. By definition, the strongest king wins ... eventually.

Only the Holy Spirit can give us new life in Christ, and confirms that we really do belong to our heavenly Father (Romans 8:16). So we are delightfully trapped between the love of the Father, the forgiveness that comes through the cross of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. If we let the Holy Trinity exercise authority in our lives then we are indeed conquerors (Romans 8:37). Yes, the sinful nature will still want to claw back some independence, but in the end, the Lord will win if we belong to Him.

This verse says it is impossible to belong to Christ and not have His Spirit. But it is still very common to suppress, resist and even detest His work in us - so that we become guilty of grieving Him (Ephesians 4:30). So every day we have the responsibility to say 'No' to the sinful nature (Titus 2:11-12), and 'Yes' to the Holy Spirit so that He will unleash the power of heaven into our little bit of the world. Those who play with the sinful nature will always find it bites back; and God may even allow that so that we may learn to submit to His authority alone. His plan is to embrace us in His love, grace and power - our response must be to let Him! There is no sense at all in wriggling out of His hand!

Almighty God. Thank You that no plan of Yours can ever fail, and none of Your purposes can ultimately be thwarted. But I am sorry when I have given into my sinful nature, rebelled against Your Word and played with fire. Please forgive me and restore me to the joy of Your salvation, fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit and give me a deep desire that You shall have full authority over all of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams