When the Holy Spirit is in Charge

James 1:2-4

A Spirit-filled life does not mean one that is problem-free. Christians who are under the control of the Holy Spirit will still have difficulties, make mistakes, and fall into sin. But there are two definite distinctions that separate Spirit-filled believers from other Christians and from unbelievers: they are not controlled by circumstances, and they refocus quickly when they sin.

When the Spirit is in charge, then our attitudes will not be determined by what is going on around us. Life won't have to be stress-free in order for us to be at peace. Our spiritual joy will not diminish if we should meet with disappointment. We will even try to respond with patient kindness to those who criticize us.

Anyone can be loving, kind, and self-controlled in seasons of blessing. But what happens to our attitudes in trying times? The real test of who we are occurs not when things are going our way but when misfortune comes our way. If the Spirit is in charge, we will learn to: love when we want to hate; practice kindness when we are accused; give a gentle response when others are harsh; and have self-control when temptation strikes us hard.

None of us will do all of this perfectly because there is still "self" within us. But when we sin, we will respond quickly to the Spirit's prompting. He will not have to work hard to get our attention because we are under His rule. We will recognize our wrong action, confess it, and refocus on God's ways.

Christian, who controls you?

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