When I go to the gym, I work on parts of my body that do not appreciate gravity. I exercise arms that continue to flap long after I’ve stopped waving. I bend to touch my toes with a spine that verbally cries out sounds of cracks and crumbles. The fight to keep my body fit is uphill, yet is very necessary to maintain current and future health.
This uphill battle also seems to rage spiritually. As Apostle Paul noted in Romans 7:21, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Unlike our physical battle, spiritual battles have already been won.
When Jesus spoke to the disciples at the Passover dinner He spoke plainly about betrayal, His departure, heaven, and the Holy Spirit to come. After this conversation, Jesus prayed for the disciples.
In John 17:11 He prayed, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.”
Then, in John 17:20-21 His prayer included all believers. “My prayer is not for them (disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” In this prayer, Jesus asked God to include all believers in His perfect in-dwelling; Father to Son, Son to believer.
But what about the raging war Apostle Paul spoke about in Romans?
God the Father is perfect, almighty and powerful. Jesus is God’s perfect gift of love. With this in-dwelling of perfect love, perfect peace and true forgiveness, we can become transformed from our sinful nature to a spiritual one. Then, as Jesus said, we may be one.
This transformation, however, is only possible with the help of the in-dwelling Spirit of God (also know as the Holy Spirit).
After Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection He promised not to leave believers alone. He promised the free gift of the Holy Spirit of truth in Acts 1:5, “5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
In Acts 2:4 the gift was given to all believers as promised, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
The end result of the Holy Spirit dwelling in believers is the spiritual nature of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness AND self-control coming to its fullness.
Believers, with the Spirit that also dwells in both God and His Son, can now overcome every weakness and be free from the prison of the law of sin.
As our physical nature takes its course; we age physically, our health declines and we face an unavoidable expiration date. In contrast, to all believers, when God’s Holy Spirit takes its course in our lives; we mature spiritually, our spiritual health increases, and by exercising our faith we prepare for eternal life.
Now that’s an exercise I want to do.
See for yourself