Yesterday we ended the post by saying that our words should demonstrate the power of God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If they don’t, then we haven’t submitted our lives to the Holy Spirit’s changing work within our hearts. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col 3:16) May God enable us to use our words as an instrument of His love and saving grace.
Paul reminds us that discipleship is a joyous response to the grace of God in Christ. We seek to be transformed because we are overtaken by this unmerited grace, overwhelmed by God’s love and grace (2 Cor 5:14), and we respond with submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s transformational work in our hearts. When we are freely given a treasure beyond all value how can we receive it but with joy, thanksgiving, and praise? These are the transformational marks of the godly steward—this is what we are called to, created for in lives and work.
It is the scheme of the enemy to turn our joyful response into dogmatic servitude. He seeks to steal our joy and burden us with un-Scriptural, self-aggrandizing activities driven by guilt and a desire to seize control of our own fate (John 10:10). When the love of Christ no longer compels us, a host of counterfeit motivations will fill the void.
It has been said that sin “causes the cup of joy to spring a leak.” It certainly drained David’s cup of joy. David’s sin caused him to lose his joy and become depressed. Only God can restore the lost joy. The solution is to pray with David, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” (Ps 51:12)
In addition to David’s request for restored joy, he asked God to uphold him with a willing spirit. Such a spirit would keep David committed to God’s will and prevent him from falling into sin again. The Spirit’s presence within us enables us to understand and interpret God’s Word and apply it. Jesus told His disciples that when “the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). He reveals to our minds the whole counsel of God as it relates to worship, doctrine, and Christian living. He is the ultimate guide, going before, leading the way, removing obstructions, opening the understanding, and making all things plain and clear. He leads in the way we should go in all spiritual things.
Without such a guide, we would be apt to fall into error. A crucial part of the truth He reveals is that Jesus is who He said He is (John 15:26). The Spirit convinces us of Christ’s deity and incarnation, His being the Messiah, His suffering and death, His resurrection and ascension, His exaltation at the right hand of God, and His role as the judge of all. He gives glory to Christ in all things (John 16:14).
What has brought me to this study is a good look in the mirror. There are times that I sound and act just like unbelievers, and there isn’t a discernible difference. Lord, thank You for guiding me into truth that when I behave like those who haven’t received Your grace, my conduct dishonors You instead of glorifying You. Lord, I have sinned and the sin has caused the cup of joy You have given me to spring a leak. Lord, it is for freedom’s sake that You have set me free to serve You. Lord, I ask You now to “restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit”, and I thank You for the transformational work You will perform in my life for Your glory. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.