Dwight Fletcher | Cooperating with the Holy Spirit
IN THE last days it’s not our ability that will take us through. We will need to rely on the Holy Spirit. He knows how to keep us in that place of readiness, awareness, alertness, watchfulness and preparedness.
We all get weary and things will happen to us that will cause pain and distraction, but the Holy Spirit will keep us. Galatians 2:20 (NIV) says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The Apostle Paul wrote this to believers who, after they had accepted Jesus, were attempting to live out their salvation based on obeying the law, and in their own strength. Paul was instructing them that walking out their salvation could not be done by self-will or the law, but only by reliance on what Jesus had already done and His continued presence in their lives. Paul was saying that our human ability was insufficient for the Christian walk.
This is more true in these last days. To make it in the last days will require surrender to the person and work of Jesus in our lives. Living as a last-days Christian will require deliberate and intentional reliance on the power of what Jesus has already done. “I have been crucified with Christ…” highlights our intimate unity with Christ. We benefit from all that Jesus accomplished in His death and His resurrection.
The place of baptism in the process represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and forms a critical part of our unity with Him. Now is the time to be baptised, because we are united with Christ at a fundamental level through it. The law and sin only have power over us when we’re alive, but through Christ we are dead to the law and sin; our old self is dead. Through baptism we die to sin, the world, and all selfish and corrupt desires – what the Bible calls our old sinful nature is dead. We’re freed from its consequences and its rulership and dead to the tendencies, deficiencies, and control of the evil one. Not only are we united with Jesus in His death, but we’re also united with Him in His resurrection. We become new and free to live right under the rulership of Christ. So the Apostle wrote “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Jesus is alive in us by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We’re Jesus-aided people. Jesus has already overcome, so we will overcome because of Him. Christ/Holy Spirit is living in and through us, and we’re free from those things that would make us vulnerable to Satan’s power because we’re alive to God. Resurrection – overcoming and devil defeating power – is resident in the Believer; but it’s to the extent that we obey God. In the last days we will face many things, but we will be able to overcome because Christ is in us by the Holy Spirit and we are united with Him.
We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit. We’re not fighting alone. Our challenge is in surrendering, trusting and allowing God to work it out. The power of God is with us. When we have difficult circumstances to handle, God is with us. “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”