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Does the Spirit of God dwell in me

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you …”
Romans 8:9

A profound question that really must be resolved for every heart, “Does the Spirit of God dwell in me?” It’s interesting to me just how many people I talk to who consider themselves Christians and yet seemingly seek to live their lives in the flesh. In the Greek we find the translation of a “Christian” back in the first account of Acts 11:26 is to be a “follower of Christ,” that is to say one who seeks to live as Jesus taught us to live, to do as Jesus taught us to do. Yet when these same folks who proclaim to be a Christian are asked if they read their Bibles, the answer is typically “once in a while” as far as church attendance, well, it’s just not a priority. And while missing church or occasional Bible reading doesn’t cost any of us our salvation, unarguably though, it will not cause us to draw closer to Jesus, or strengthen our walk with Him, nor make us more in love with the One who showed His love to us by taking our place on the cross of Calvary.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:8, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Clearly the Lord is able to see past the tongue and look deep into the heart and find the heart of the matter, that being the battle between living for Christ and living for self. Paul writes in Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things you wish.” Paul nailed it perfectly. We all must seek to deny our desires and learn of Jesus and what His desires are for us, mindful of His great love and provision toward us, and then make application of those powerful truths.

In the book of Hebrews chapter 10:24 we find encouragement given to us, that we should continually come together, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as in the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.

And while we are told of the benefits and rewards of gathering with expectant hearts, it is not a guarantee of change within, for we see the Lord speaking to the prophet in Ezekiel 33:31, “So they come to you as people do; they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.”And so, we see as with all things pertaining to God, it always comes down to the heart, which brings us back to our topic verse.

Is your flesh leading your life, directing your endeavors, motivating your efforts? Or have you sought to walk according to the Spirit of Jesus Christ, resting in His promises, laying down your desires in order to follow Him? You know, I write these devotions, not because I’m perfect and have it all figured out. I’m anything but perfect, just ask those who know me. I write Shepherd’s Outpost as God has opened the door, to be a voice of encouragement, to gently stir your hearts toward Him; to challenge you in your commitment to deepen your relationship with Him. And for however long this door may be opened to me, may you know how immeasurably, emphatically in love with you your Savior, Jesus Christ, is. 2 Peter 3:18 tells us, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

 

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