“But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells-even though you still experience all the limitations of sin-you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!” (Rom 8:9-11, MSG)
Something awesome happens when we allow God’s Spirit to reside in us. We begin to think more about Him and less about ourselves. Before I experienced God’s Holy Spirit, I had some trustworthy friends; however, most of the time I was left on my own demise in decision making. More often than not, I made stupid choices. I was thinking way more about myself than about God and others, and that’s why my decisions were so pitiful.
When I welcomed God’s Holy Spirit in my life, however, I was no longer alone, and He certainly guided me to do, “what is good and right”. I became truly alive, as my Heavenly Father became my reality. As long as I listened to Him, I had nothing to worry about. After all, God’s Spirit was residing in me.
It’s true that at times I ignored Him, which only resulted in me having the need to repent of my stubbornness. I realized that His directions held way more validity than my own decisions. With Him at the helm, I never had any regrets.
Only the Holy Spirit can give life, real life. Not only resurrection life, but a life that makes sense and has purpose. No matter what happens to us, we have a guaranteed destiny: “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10b, MSG)
The Holy Spirit prompts, guides, admonishes and warns. He becomes our real friend who will never, ever abandon us. He is there to lead us to victory. Hurray!
Dr. Ivan Matijasic could have avoided a lot of trouble if he had only focused on himself instead of others; but that wasn’t his way. His goal in life was to help others, no matter how high the cost. In October 1943, he was arrested by the Nazis in his hometown of Pazin for providing medical assistance to Yugoslavian partisans. Eventually he ended up at the Saulga subcamp, where he became the prisoner-doctor.
At one time, 200 critically-ill prisoners from Uberlingen arrived in the camp. Although he had limited provisions, he did his best to save most of them. He certainly was well liked, for his focus was on others and not on himself. After the war he was appointed senior doctor of the Saulgau hospital. At least now he wouldn’t be arrested for helping others!
What’s our take on life? Fake living or real living? Making ourselves smile or making others smile? Think about it!
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)