“ . . . be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans12:2)
In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul is very clear that the power of the Holy Spirit is an integral part of the gospel that he had traveled the world proclaiming.
Living “life in the Spirit” can be described as a way of setting our hearts on the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Paul understood that only by living in the Spirit can we continue to build up those parts that are pleasing and gradually do away with the parts that are sinful and displeasing. Doesn’t our own experience confirm this dilemma? To use Paul’s words, does God really want us to be alternately controlled by the Holy Spirit one moment and by our selfish desires the next moment (Romans 8:5)?
In addition to examining our motives on our own like this, we will also have to begin asking the Holy Spirit himself to probe us and examine our hearts. A teacher can make us a better thinker or a more creative person, but only the Holy Spirit can lift us up to the power and presence of Jesus. This is the one insight that will move us to please God in everything we do and cause us to want to live in the Spirit. Do I believe right now that Jesus has set me free from sin?
“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). “Those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Can I ask the Holy Spirit to convince me that God loves me more than I can ever imagine? Father!’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).