A few years ago, as I was studying the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, the feeling that I was missing something just wouldn’t go away. As I recall, I was looking at Galatians 2:20 and contemplating the ideas of being crucified with Christ and living by faith. I was wondering, “How can a dead person live?”
A phrase kept running through my mind. It was as though God was speaking to me directly. The phrase was:
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.
Of course, this is a direct quote from Zechariah 4:6. Once I opened my heart and mind to the Lord’s leading, the answer to my question became so clear. One verse after another came to mind, which affirmed over-and-over again the compelling answer to my question. It is by the power of the life-giving Spirit that we are freed from sin that leads to death (cf. Romans 8:2); and, dead people can live by faith when they walk by the Spirit!
I am still learning to walk by the Spirit. My biggest challenge comes from following the cadence of the world, rather than the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sometimes, though, I just need to be reminded that the Lord says it is, “…not by [my] might [energy or effort] nor by [my] power [resources or faculties], but by the Holy Spirit!
I need to ask myself whether I am sowing to please the Holy Spirit.
If you happen to need help with this, hopefully this snapshot of the references to Holy Spirit in Galatians will be helpful.
NIV REFERENCES TO
The Holy Spirit
IN THE BOOK OF
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, [Aramaic for Father] Father.”
At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature [Or his flesh, from the flesh] will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
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