But now, O Lord you are our Father, we are the clay, and you our Potter; And all of us are the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
Timothy constantly sought Paul’s advice and instruction. He exercised consideration and calm thought, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Holy Spirit found in him one who could be molded and fashioned as a temple for the indwelling of the divine Presence. TT 109.1
The question is, Are we surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit and allowing Jesus Christ to transform our character? God is not intrusive. He does not force us to change into His image. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Prayer: God, we desire to be molded in the Character of Christ. We pray for forgiveness of our sins. We ask to be molded in your hands. As we prepare for your soon coming, we pray for guidance in every aspect of our lives. In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
As for me, I will see your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. Psalm 17:15.
The Apostle Paul placed great emphasis on the transformation of our character. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14. We are preparing now to live forever in a perfect and sinless New Heaven and New Earth. We cannot justify holding onto ungodly character traits and unrighteous habits, which will prevent us from receiving our reward of eternal life. Knowing what God expects from us will give us the motivation to please Him. You must be holy because I, the Lord, am Holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own. Leviticus 20:26. Amen.
Imagine that you received an even-trade offer to receive a new vehicle for turning in your current vehicle. The only condition is that you would not see the new vehicle prior to the trade. Some would hesitate and need time to think about it, while others would give a definite answer of no. Still, there is the enthusiastic group that would be elated, readily agreeing to participate in the blind trade.
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we agreed to surrender and to become His disciples. Changing us from our inherited tendencies, eliminating our self-reliance, taking away the desire for worldly habits, and giving us a character makeover is a lifetime spiritual process known as Sanctification. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ have become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” NLT. Yes, Sanctification is to become holy as Jesus is holy.
Where do you stand as far as trading off the old you in exchange for the new person in Christ Jesus? Which group of individuals represent your decision to become like Christ?
If you have an appointment at 2 pm, what would your response be if you were told, “there is a delay, and asked, Can you wait?” Honestly, I would immediately become annoyed. However, I would suppress those feelings and answer the question with the question, “How long do I have to wait?” The answer, “Unfortunately, I don’t know,” would make the top of my ears turn red and warm to touch. Since childhood, this has been my body’s automatic response to becoming upset.
Impatience is my downfall. I can pretend to accept and tolerate the “Can you wait?” situation, but God knows my innermost thoughts. And yes, I do realize this is a serious problem.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23.
We are unique because of genetics, life experience, fingerprints, appearance, etc. My spiritual weaknesses could be your strengths and vice-versa. Even so, as believers, we have the commonality of accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We committed to become Christ-like [a new creature in Christ] 2 Corinthians 5:17. Thankfully, God knew that we needed help, so He specifically defined the characteristics we must possess to become holy and acceptable to Him.
The Apostle Paul summarizes Galatians 5:16-26 as Living By the Spirit’s Power. Because of sin, we have to strive–and persevere to change the sinful characteristics that come naturally to all of humanity. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16. I have heard many individuals confidently say that God understands our weaknesses, which is our sins. But Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Human Effort + Divine Intervention= A Victorious Outcome
God’s love: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Because of His steadfast love for humanity, God gives us free access to divine intervention. It is through the prayers of confession and repentance that we receive the grace and mercies of forgiveness and, yet, another chance to get it right. “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11. Praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live righteously. Studying the Bible is the spiritual mirror that enables us to see our sins.
We must endure the tests for us to possess the Fruit of the Spirit. Always striving for the mark are the words of the Apostle. After studying Galatians 5, I realize the next time someone asks, “Can you wait?” this is the test and my opportunity for spiritual growth.
Bible Study: Galatians 5
God, thank you for your grace, mercies, and the patience to guide us through our spiritual journey of faith, obedience, change, and growth. We desire a closer relationship with You. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ Name. Amen.