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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Which Spirit?

Choose the right one.

2 Timothy 1.7

οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ θεὸς πνεῦμα δειλίας ἀλλὰ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμοῦ.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear [timidity, cowardice], but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

At every moment, we are being influenced, led, and even filled by one or another spirit. The spirit of man, the natural spirit which is our law-of-sin-inclining soul, is subject to external powers and conditions and tends to hold back, in timidity or cowardice, from the work that takes us exceedingly and abundantly beyond where we have ever dared to ask or think, into all the fullness of God. This spirit expresses its will in fear - of failure, new things, additional work, uncertainties, what others might think, unfamiliarity - and doubt. It listens to the voice of the world, the flesh, and the devil which discourages it from faith and obedience and counsels safety first and always. It produces laziness, rationalizations, wiling away of time, lack of vision, a status quo approach to ministry, and a “good enough” life of discipleship.

Happily, though the shade of this spirit lingers in us, and seeks to woo us to its timid ways, this is not the Spirit we have received from God.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of power, power to raise the dead and thus to overcome every threat, constraint, or condition that keeps us from more of the fullness of God in Christ. This Spirit stands ready to open vistas of love for God and neighbor so bright and expansive and promising that they can move us to greater endeavors of faith and devotion. The Holy Spirit grounds our thinking, not in what our puny minds might imagine but in the sound mind of Jesus Christ and the far and expanding horizons of the Kingdom as He sees them. This is the Spirit God has given us and to which we must turn in our daily walk with and work for the Lord.

We will be ruled by one or the other of these. Let us choose Him Whom God has chosen for us, that we may increase in Jesus and His Kingdom, righteousness, and glory in all we do, that holy power and love may increase in and through us and that timidity and fear may be forever banished.

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