Weekly Devotional

Resolution or Revolution?

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16

Written by Dan Lee on 27/12/2015

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16

It’s popular in many places to make New Year’s Resolutions: “This year I will lose weight” or “I will stop smoking” and so on.

However, most of these resolutions are doomed to failure. Research shows that 80% have given up on their resolutions by February, and that 2/3 of dieters gain the lost weight back in a year.

The Power

Why is it that most of us are powerless to make positive, long-term changes in our behavior?

The reality is that people do what they want to do. In the evening, it’s easy to say that you will get up early to exercise. But when the alarm rings the next cold, dark morning, getting out of bed suddenly becomes a lot harder.

Our own human efforts will not get us very far. That’s why today’s scripture is so important: “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (Galatians 5:16).

As Christ-followers, we have God’s power inside us, giving us both the reason and the resources. Instead of simply trying harder, we can ask the Holy Spirit for the strength to do the right things. And even more, He can give us a heart – the desire – to do those things. The more we practice walking in the power of the Spirit, the more we will find ourselves wanting to do what is right -- instead of fighting a war against ourselves every day.

The Purpose

Maybe this is the year you’d like to train for a marathon, or lose fifteen pounds. Of course you should take care of your body, which after all is the “Temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

But remember Paul’s words to Timothy: “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

So by all means, plan to be physically healthy, but make it your highest priority to be spiritually healthy.

The Plan

So before you start making resolutions, why not first spend some time in prayer? Ask the Lord what He wants accomplish in your life this year. Cultivate a practice of spending just a few minutes (or a few more minutes) with the Lord each morning. Study what it means to live the Spirit-filled life, and passionately pursue the intimate relationship with God that He wants.

Finally, be confident in God’s work in your life: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).

Pray this week:

Thank You, Lord, for a new year, full of possibilities. Thank You that You have a great plan for my life. Teach me what it means to walk in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Give me the power each day to walk with you and live a life that pleases You and brings You glory.

Do you still need help understanding the Holy Spirit and how to let Him work in your life?

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