You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
There are so many wonderful things that could be said about the Holy Spirit. He is amazing! He points us to Jesus. He reveals truth. He is perfect in wisdom. He gives us greater understanding of scripture. He loves us. He comforts us. He works in us to transform us into the likeness of God. He works in the world to convict people of their sins. He has a vital role in a believers life.
In the introduction I talked about Him being a person. I heard Reinhard Bonnke say something that stuck with me, “A person doesn’t come in percentages. He’s either present or He’s not.” We on the other hand the ability to quench, resist, or silence Him. We have the ability to reject what He’s trying to do. God doesn’t seek to be our puppet master. He longs to guide not force us.
What is the Holy Spirit Like (His Character)?
1. He is love! God is love. If you read Galatians 5:22-23, you’ll see love is the first thing mentioned. We have troubles sometimes in our society because we mistake unconditional love with unconditional approval. God corrects us, says what’s right or wrong, and does it in a way aimed at leading to repentance. God longs to reconcile us to Him, not condemn us or use guilt or shame.
2. He is joyful! Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is based on what’s happening. Joy is something that can be experienced in hard seasons as well as mountain top seasons. God has no reason to worry or be stressed out. He’s Sovereign. Psalm 2:4 says He sits in the heavens and laughs at His enemies.
3. He is peace. In the middle of the storm (Mark 4:39), Jesus spoke, “Peace be still.” In the middle of our storms, He is our peace. Also God likes for us to live at peace with others, as much as it depends on us (Romans 12:18).
4. He is patient and longsuffering.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love,~Psalm 145:8.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,~2 Peter 3:9.
5. He is kind, faithful, good, and gentle.
I lumped all these attributes together because I truly believe they are overlooked. They are characteristics of God I’d love to see more evident in myself and others.
God is kind (definition: having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature. Affectionate; loving).
God is faithful (definition: loyal, constant, and steadfast).
God is good (definition: giving pleasure; enjoyable or satisfying; that which is morally right; righteousness; possessing or displaying moral virtue).
God is gentle (definition: (of a person) mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender).
If you’re thinking how do these descriptions of God fit in with some of the harshness of the Old Testament. I will say sin has a penalty of death. God is Sovereign and holy. His ways of dealing with us are right whether we understand or agree. He can see right into our heart and motives. He didn’t have to save us. Yet He chose out of His great kindness to send His Son to take away the sins of the world (John 3:16).
6. He is self controlled. God is not out of control. We sometimes are, He is not. When we are being led by His Spirit, we are self controlled. God is not looking for ways to control us. He’s giving us His Spirit to help us become self controlled.
If we are going to be led by the Spirit, we will need to acknowledge His work in our lives. God longs to deepen our awareness of what Jesus already paid for. The Holy Spirit is a valuable gift. He’s a tremendous blessing.
I leave you with this prayer:
Father help us to have a deeper understanding of You. Help us not to be simply hearers of your Word, but doers. Help us to abide in You. Help us to rely on Your Spirit and not our human intellect. Help us to understand how Your Spirit operates and help us not to quench, ignore, or offend. May we give You as much room as possible to work in and through us.