Only the power of the Holy Spirit of God can change us
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: What does the Bible mean when it says to be filled with the Spirit? — S.F.
Dear S.F.: Only the power of the Holy Spirit of God can change us, but we must be willing to be changed. This often is the stumbling block to people following Jesus as their Savior. Many want to believe in His love, but they don’t want to turn their backs on their sins.
This is why the Bible commands, “Do not be drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). When a person is drunk, we say they are “under the influence” of alcohol because it controls them. Likewise, to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” means to be under the influence or control of the Holy Spirit of God. How does the Holy Spirit release His power to bring about change?
It requires repentance of sin; asking God to reveal sin that rules our lives. He then transforms us. We don’t have the power for self-transformation; it comes from the Holy Spirit.
During a very cold winter a spring of water can suddenly stop flowing due to ice that forms in the pipe. A workman must come and dig through the frozen ground and use a blowtorch to melt the ice block, restoring the flow.
The power of the Holy Spirit is always available — but sin is like ice that blocks a pipe, allowing spiritual coldness to freeze our souls and cut off the Spirit’s power.
The psalmist wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart… and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). By receiving Christ’s salvation and forgiveness of sin, the Holy Spirit comes in and makes possible the flow of strength, giving guidance, to help us walk a new pathway in continual fellowship with Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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