How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
— Galatians 3:3 NLT
Try harder! Be better! Achieve more! Seek perfection! These are all messages that we hear every day in our competitive world. In fact, these admonitions can help in many areas of our lives. However, there is one area that they do not help: becoming holy like God! Yes, we need to obey God. Yes, we must offer ourselves to God for his service. Yes, we should yearn to be holy as God is holy. However, without the work of the Holy Spirit, we will never become like Jesus. The Spirit convicts us, purifies us, gives spiritual gifts to us, empowers us, and transforms us to become like Jesus. Effort alone cannot do this; we must depend on the Spirit's work to accomplish all these. While this dependence on the Spirit may feel counter-intuitive to our pursuit of Christ-likeness, this trust in the Spirit is an indispensable element of God's grace. The Father delivered us from sin and death through the gift of his Son. We become like Jesus as we offer ourselves to God through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our own efforts, our own power, and our own attempts at perfection will always fall short of God's holiness and majesty. Only the "Holy Gift" within us can transform us into the very nature of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).
O Father, I do want to be holy as you are holy. I do want to live with your righteous character and your gracious compassion. So I offer myself — my life, my gifts, my time, my money, my all — to serve you. But I know, dear Father, that these things will fall far short of your perfection and glory, and so I ask for your Holy Spirit to do his work in me. In Jesus' name, I pray. 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.