The Spirit Within Us
“But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:10-11 (ESV)
Sometimes, people experience moments where it feels like they’ve “hit the wall.” Not literally, of course – not a car accident, or an unusual misfortune. But rather, an emotional wall, something in their life so overwhelming it almost paralyzes them with fear or doubt.
Has that ever happened to you? While each of our circumstances are unique, we all go through hardships and challenges during our lives. How do we continue walking through the heartbreaks and setbacks in life, even those that threaten to devastate us? How can we persevere when our strength seems to fail us?
One of my favorite chapters in Scripture is Romans 8. Theologians often say this chapter explains the “doctrine of eternal security.” For me, I take comfort in Pauls’ words from Romans 8:10-11, knowing that even in this frail, human, mortal existence, we have the power of God flowing through us, giving us new life in Christ, what Jesus referred to in John 10:10 as a life we can have abundantly.
Ponder this amazing, mysterious gift. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and me. This is not just power; it’s resurrection power. Just as the Spirit breathed life into Jesus, so he can and will do for us both in the next life and in this one. This power strengthens us to overcome any obstacle the world may place in front us.
God’s Holy Spirit has been with us since the creation
As Christians, the role of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is familiar to us, especially in such passages as Matthew 1:18 (Jesus’ conception), Luke 3:22 (Jesus’ baptism), and especially in Acts 2:4 (the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise for the Holy Spirit to descend on the disciples).
But what about the Old Testament? What does the Bible say there?
Genesis 2:7 describes man’s creation and his being filled with God’s own living breath: “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” It was with this life-giving essence that Adam and Eve were able to survive their own fall from grace.
In Exodus 31:2-5, Bezalel, the chief artisan of the Tabernacle in charge of building the Ark of the Covenant, is described as being filled with the Holy Spirit. In this passage, God speaks to having filled Bezalel with the His own spirit and gave him the ability, knowledge, and craftsmanship to devise artistic designs that would have been impossible to Bezalel on his own.
The Holy Spirit played a prominent role in the long span of Old Testament prophecy. David declared that “the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). Likewise, Ezekiel proclaimed that “the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me” (Ezekiel 2:2).
The Holy Spirit still works in us today
The Holy Spirit is working in you and me even now and can do what we simply can’t do alone. He brings peace and hope; he restores relationships; he enables us to forgive even an unrepentant person; he provides; and he leads us through the most tumultuous waters.
During difficult times, it can be hard to grasp this truth, yet it is still God’s truth. The Lord promises to never abandon or forsake us, and His Spirit will provide everything we need to overcome.
The enemy speaks despair and destruction during our difficult seasons. The Holy Spirit speaks a very different message. We can and will overcome. It may not be easy, but if the Spirit can raise Jesus from the dead, he can make the way for you and for me through every earthly trial and tribulation. We only need to believe and invite him in.
How to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit
- Remember His Presence: Psalm 46:1 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Remembering that the Spirit of God resides in us can shift our perspective from despair to hope.
- Seek Guidance: The Apostle John proclaims, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13). In times of confusion and despair, turn to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance.
- Tap into His Strength: Paul speaks of his weaknesses becoming strengths through Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). When we feel weak, the Spirit’s power is made perfect, fortifying us in our most vulnerable moments.
- Pray in the Spirit: Romans 8:26-27 tells us that the Spirit helps us in our weakness, even interceding for us through wordless groans. In moments when words fail us, let the Spirit intercede on your behalf.
In every hardship, challenge, and sorrow, we have an unwavering anchor in the Holy Spirit. While the storms of life may rage, and uncertainties may abound, the Spirit’s power remains constant. In those moments when we feel utterly broken, it’s crucial to remember that our God is not a distant observer but an intimate companion, with His Spirit residing within us.
Make us more aware of your Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
Teach us to access the power within us to overcome this world –
every trial, tribulation, and heartbreak.
Do your holy work in us today.
Through Christ, Amen.
May God continuously lead your path.