Is neglect our option?
See then that you walk circumspectly,
not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time,
because the days are evil.
Is neglect our option?
We must not live with only our own survival in mind.
God’s Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13). God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.
First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will. No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient. Sometimes Christians become prideful about the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved. Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.
Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk – as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships – as God desires. His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.
Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord. Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power. It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.” Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.
Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough. Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life. Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can – I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory. That’s the kind of life that overflows with the Holy Spirit.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional, by Charles Stanley, June 30, 2017.
This verse, in either location, is merely a confirmation of willful disobedience. Contrast this with John 3 (which I won’t retype here). In John 3 there is nothing about behavior, nothing about actions we must take. Instead, there you will find Jesus affirming that whoever trusts in Him will be saved and will have eternal life. But we need Christ’s power to understand, be enlightened, to believe, and to turn to Him in obedience. Understanding something of supernatural origin is not possible with our natural senses.
Scientists have tried in vain to create life in a laboratory ex nihilo-out of nothing. But so far they have been unsuccessful. No one has discovered the power of life. Yet that is the power that God displayed when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. It is a power we do not know how to explain.
The power of the Spirit of God is a power man cannot understand or duplicate in a lab. It is a power that is limitless. We can be filled with the Spirit of power-the power only Christ can give. The choice is yours-to willfully turn to Jesus, asking HIM for HIS power to believe, or to willfully turn away from Him. My belief in Jesus doesn’t make Him real. Likewise, disbelief does not make Jesus nonexistent. If He is real then that is true apart from you or I. The Lord wants you with Him forever. He gives us a choice-He does not force. The flag you wave is of your choosing.
Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Turning Points Devotional, November 21, and Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, November 23.
“All the healthy and out-going activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at least he may say, as one of my own patients said on arrival down here, ‘I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.’ The Christians describe the Enemy as one ‘without whom Nothing is strong’. And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them,…” The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, pg. 60.