"God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13 NLT)
It is the Holy Spirit's job to produce Christ-like character in you.
You cannot reproduce the character of Jesus on 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).
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.
Christ-likeness is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation. We allow Christ to live through us.
How does this happen? Through the choices we make. We choose to follow Jesus in all 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 About It
How has the Holy Spirit been working in your life? Have you ever claimed those works as your own?
What do your recent choices say about how much you want God to produce Christ-likeness in you?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.