“God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13 NLT, second edition).
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christlike character in you.
The Bible says, “The Lord … makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18b NLT, second edition). This process of changing us to be more like Jesus is called sanctification.
You cannot reproduce the character of Jesus in your own strength. New Year’s resolutions, willpower, and best intentions are not enough. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to make the changes God wants to make in our lives. The Bible says, “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13 NLT, second edition).
Mention the “power of the Holy Spirit,” and many people think of miraculous demonstrations and intense emotions. But most of the time the Holy Spirit’s power is released in your life in quiet, unassuming ways that you aren’t even aware of or feel. He often nudges us with “a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12b NIV).
Christlikeness is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation. We allow Christ to live through us. “This is the secret: Christ lives in you” (Colossians 1:27 NLT, second edition).
How does this happen in real life? Through the choices we make. We choose to do the right thing in situations and then trust God’s Spirit to give us his power, love, faith, and wisdom to do it. Since God’s Spirit lives inside of us, these things are always available for the asking.
Talk It Over
- Why do you think God allows you to choose whether or not you respond to the Holy Spirit’s moving in your life?
- If the Holy Spirit often works in quiet, unassuming ways, what can you do to become more sensitive to his work in your life?
- Ask God to give you a new awareness of the Holy Spirit and for him to work in you and make you more like Jesus. Ask him to take away your fear and give you boldness as you fulfill your purpose through the power of God’s Spirit in you.