9 But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. 10 If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.
I wonder how often we directly sense that we are each a part of God’s Spirit. Perhaps you are not sure you have ever directly felt a connection to the Spirit in any particular moment or maybe you have had a moment sensing God’s presence. Even the father of Methodism, John Wesley, struggled with feeling a direct connection to the Spirit. Eventually John Wesley spoke about his heart being “strangely warmed,” but that doesn’t mean we must each have a tangible moment like this to be living in the Spirit with God.
Whether we have ever directly discerned God’s Spirit or not, as Christians, instead, this scripture leads to another important point. By living in the Spirit, now we set aside just the needs of the body. The moment we consciously ask for forgiveness, now we are changed by Grace’s grace. Now we are not just living for our own needs, but for God’s needs. Now it’s God’s work living through us which changes us also. Now we are alive through the Spirit.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
The difference is in our choice to live through Christ, versus choosing to live through the needs of the body. Also, it’s then that the real work begins! It means consciously turning to the Spirit, even if/when we know we don’t feel the connection. Whether you have directly sensed God’s presence at any moment or not, how do you actively sense the Spirit working within your life? What is the work that keeps you connected to the Spirit of Christ within you?
Great Spirit, thank you for the grace you have given me. Even when it is difficult to turn away from the wants of the body, let your spirit live in me and I in you. Amen.