I am preaching through Galatians at Redeemer and we are studying the section of chapter 5 that begins with:
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the child of God to see sin defeated in his or her life, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is required. How does the Holy Spirit work?
Sometimes I think we expect the Holy Spirit to zap us or provide some wild manifestation to tell us it is present and working. In actuality, the Spirit’s powerful work is usually behind the scenes and subtle in our lives. The power of the Spirit working isn’t usually found in the flashes and explosions of mountain top spiritual experiences but more often quietly and softly as it kills our desires for certain sins and lusts and replaces them with a desire for God.
Growing up just a few miles from Niagara Falls I’ll bet I have seen the Falls a hundred times or more in my lifetime. I always knew they were a major source of electrical power but never really understood how. I have stood at the brink of the Falls many times thinking the power provided must come from the violently flowing, froth-filled final couple hundred yards of the water before it plunged a few hundred feet. Certainly that’s where the power resided, right? In fact, the power provided by the Falls came from a quiet, almost unnoticeable source a mile or two upstream from the spectacular brink of Niagara.
Well before the water drops over the edge, there are tunnels of conduit that divert water from going over the Falls and down long shafts where it passes through hydroelectric turbines that supply power to nearby areas of the Canada and the USA before returning to the river well past the Falls. Up to 375,000 gallons of water per second is diverted from the Niagara River through conduits under the City of Niagara Falls to power plants! When a person stares at Niagara Falls he or she is only seeing half (or less) of the water that could be going over because so much is quietly and subtley diverted to make power.
"The work of the Spirit, then, is joined to the Word of God. But a distinction is made, that we may know that the external word is of no avail by itself unless animated by the power of the Spirit ...All power of action, then, resides in the Spirit himself." - John Calvin