The Holy Spirit’s presence is essential for the Christian life. Despite our best efforts, we have no ability to produce Christlike character on our own. Although we’ve been declared righteous through faith in Jesus, we still succumb to sin, pressures of the world, and the deceptions and temptations of the devil.
Thankfully, we have a resource that is greater than any hindrance—God’s omnipotent, indwelling Spirit. He continually works to transform us into Christ’s image by giving us holy desires and ambitions, making us sensitive to His leading, and empowering our obedience and service. When we’re submissive to the Spirit, we grow in our faith and resemble Jesus more and more.
However, this doesn’t mean that we play no part in the process. The practical truth is that we must exercise obedient attitudes even if we’re feeling otherwise. These include loving the unlovable, choosing joy instead of grumbling, being kind when we’d rather respond with harshness, and practicing patience despite frustration or anger. And the great mystery is that when we rely on the Spirit, our heart changes—love takes root, joy fills our heart, kindness feels right, and patience produces a peaceful spirit.