Welcome to the Empowered Blog Series. Here are the first three posts in this series.
How the Holy Spirit Purifies Us
I lost my temper. I completely overreacted when my kids ate all the applesauce that was supposed to go with our Pork Chop dinner.
As I placed the Shake ’N Bake crisped deliciousness on the stovetop and saw the empty jar on the counter, I felt depleted of patience and self-control.
Sounds funny to me now— getting angry over applesauce, but at the time, all I could think about was the 30 minutes I went down every single aisle in Walmart searching for that jar of Motts, asking salespeople for help while being pressed for time as my husband waited for me at the register. I mean you can’t have Pork Chops without applesauce, right?
When I got home from the store, I made a point to tell each child to make sure to save the applesauce for our dinner. Even though they didn’t listen, there was no excuse for the way I yelled at my kids!
The Holy Spirit convicted me.
I knew I needed to do more than just say sorry to my kids. Sorry means nothing without changed behavior. I needed to repent.
So I made sure to sit with my kids and ask for their forgiveness. I let them know that nothing they ever do wrong ever merits that kind of reaction. And it’s not enough for me to say sorry. My behavior was not ok. I needed to change, and I told them that I was going to work hard to stop yelling and control my temper.
Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to change? I have. But the truth is, it’s NOT impossible!
We can learn how the Holy Spirit purifies us to live godly lives.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us we have been given everything we need to live a godly life:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
After we become Christians, the Holy Spirit works to help us develop the fruit of the spirit in our life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) Galatians 5:22-23
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
We are being transformed. The Holy Spirit helps us repent and change to become more like Jesus.
This process is called sanctification. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect. But it does mean when we mess up we listen to the conviction the Holy Spirit brings. It’s not about shame or guilt or works but about restoring relationships–our relationship with God and others–when our sin puts up walls, hurts others, and tears people down.
We have a choice to react in our flesh or yield to the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives to help us.
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ESV
I Peter makes it clear that the work is done by the Holy Spirit but still, we have to be obedient.
Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1:2 NIV
It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can put to death the sin in our life. We have to choose to live by the power of the Spirit. And we all know it’s not always easy to control our sinful reactions.
We are selfish by nature. We want the best seat, the first-pick, the fastest, easiest and most convenient things for ourselves.
But I must put to death what I want in order to put other people first. Sometimes that feels like swimming against the tide. It’s intentional and purposeful.
“in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:4 NIV
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13 NIV
After I confessed my sin to God and to my children I felt released from the burden of my sin.
When you died on the cross for my sins, you released me from the burden of guilt. Thank you! You’ve gifted all believers with the power of the Holy Spirit to help us turn away from our sinful reactions and turn towards a life controlled by your Spirit. Lord shine through me. When situations make me angry and hurt, may your Holy Spirit move to reflect Jesus in my reactions. Purify me. Cleanse me. Restore me. Use me to show your love to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.