Empowered by the Spirit

car stuck in snowWhat does it mean to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. As I meditate on this weeks message on life in the Spirit, I wonder about being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Life in the Spirit can only happen when we are empowered by Him.

Yesterday, I was driving through the parking lot just after leaving Planet Fitness. I was tired from my cardio workout and was looking forward to doing some work at Panera Bread before heading home. I then saw in the lot a car stuck in a snow embankment. I was pressed for time. I wanted to get home by a decent hour after getting work done. But then I heard the words “Stop and help.” I parked my car near by and started helping out the driver stuck in the snow. And boy was he stuck. We dug and dug and his tires spun and spun. We even went and borrowed a shovel from Qdoba’s to dig out the car. All our digging wasn’t working. We were struggling to dig this car out. I was getting tired and cold. I was already exhausted and now I’m really getting tired. My arms shook, my nose was going numb, and my legs wanted to go out. I was tired. All our hard work wasn’t paying off, the tires still spun and he was still stuck.

Then someone in a big pick up pulled up. He looked at what we were doing and said plainly “I can pull you out.” He hooked up a pully rope thingy to the car and just like that pulled the car out of the snow embankment. Nothing to it, easy peasy.

It took up so much time and I was so cold, I decided to go home and work from there. On my way home, I started thinking about being empowered by the Holy Spirit

We can work so hard on something. We can work so hard on living our lives. We can work so hard on doing what we think is right. We can work so hard on following Jesus, yet without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can’t do it ourselves.

When we try to do it ourselves, it’s like getting stuck in the snow with the tires spinning. We just can’t do it. We try as hard as we can and we’re still just spinning our tires. But when we trust in the Holy Spirit to do His empowering work in our lives, we can do so much.

That is what life in the Spirit is all about. We struggle with what Paul calls the “sinful nature” or the “flesh.” We struggle with living out a life fully devoted to God. We want to be spiritual people. We want to live a life that is spiritually full. We have a generation out there, multiple generations out there, that want a spiritual life. And when we do it on our own, we struggle with things. We live according to what we think is right and do what we think is right. And soon we spiral out of control. And then the flesh, the sinful nature, takes over and controls us instead.

Life in the Spirit means that those things that once controlled us, the works of the flesh, the sinful nature, have no control over us any more. Instead, the Holy Spirit is in control. And we live by the Spirit. We live by Him and have life through Him. Because of Him, Jesus lives in us. The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave lives in you if you’re a follower of Jesus. And he gives you life. Fully and completely. Not just for eternity but for now.

Life in the Spirit is a life lived for Jesus, for the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. And through the Holy Spirit at work, Jesus is with you now. Today.

And so, I wondered about this as I drove home. Where in my life am I trying to dig myself out? Where in my life am I struggling to let things go and let the Holy Spirit empower me to do it instead?

There is something about letting go of trying to do it yourself. We could have easily told the dude in the pick up no thanks and kept on digging and spinning our wheels. But we recognized the need for something bigger, stronger than ourselves to do the work we couldn’t’ do on our own.

That is life in the Spirit. That is a life empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works where we can’t and does things we couldn’t dream He’d do in our lives. So, trust in the empowering work of the Holy Spirit and see things changed, moved, and pulled out of the snow in your life.

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