Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
— Romans 8:5 NLT
We don't like to be controlled. However, we will be controlled either by our sinful nature or by the Spirit of God. There are no middle options (Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 6). While politically incorrect, deep in the core of our souls we know it's true. The things that Satan entices us to think of as freedom invariably end up damaging us, our relationships, and our future. They enslave us to addictive processes, systems, and habits. We are sucked into the vortex of sin's power: Our thoughts are increasingly controlled by sin's enslaving lifestyle. The Spirit, however, frees us from this bondage. The Spirit gives us the power to live with freedom, enjoying a life full of his fruit — love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). And our role? First, we must choose to actively seek the Spirit's influence over our will. Second, we must commit to responding to his lead in what we think and do (Galatians 5:25). When we look at our lives, do we see our thoughts and actions dominated by the sinful nature or by the Spirit? If the sinful nature is dominating us, it's time to go back and focus on our role of seeking the Spirit and responding to his lead!
O Father, draw me to you. Have your holiness capture my heart and mold my character. Have your Spirit shape my life to reflect your righteousness and mercy. I want to be led, transformed, and controlled by your Holy Spirit. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
About This Devotional
God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.