Echoes From the Campfire

I believe God has a plan.  I may not know exactly what it is or what I’m supposed to do, but the plan is in place.  I just need to trust Him and do my best to follow wherever He leads…or die trying.”
              –Dan Arnold (Riding for the Brand)

    “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
              –2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)
I have been doing a small study with my eldest granddaughters on the Fruit of the Spirit.  If a person is a believer and you hear them say, “I don’t have any peace,” then they are either ignorant, or are trying to seek peace in the wrong manner, or have false views of peace, or they have not truly been saved.
    The last fruit mentioned is that of temperance, or self-control.  I like what Dr. Zenas Bicket says of Self-Control; he calls it the Regulator:

         Love without restraint becomes passion.
         Joy without moderation becomes frivolity.
         Peace without temperance becomes idleness.
         Patience without balance is apathy.
         Gentleness without temperance is weakness.
         Goodness without control becomes fawning.
         Faith without moderation of reason becomes blind superstition.
         Meekness without temperance is timidity.

Self-Control is the thing that regulates the rest of the fruit.  It is the guiding force so that the other fruit does not become reckless and that senseless emotionalism does not run rampant.
    Far too often, Christians forget the Holy Spirit.  Without Him, we could not know Christ.  Without Him, the blood of Jesus could not be applied to our lives.  It is the Holy Spirit that guides us into the truth.  Yet, He is often placed on the back burner.  There may be talk of the Father, and the Son, Jesus, is often mentioned, but not so much the Holy Spirit.  But it is the Holy Spirit that convicts and brings us to Jesus.  He is equal to the Father and the Son.
    We can grieve the Holy Spirit; He can be quenched.  We can push Him away, and that is dangerous.  It is the Holy Spirit that testifies of Christ.  Jesus said that He must leave so the the Holy Spirit (i.e., Comforter, Advocate, Helper) can come.  He is the “paracletos”, the One who stands beside us to give us what we need.
    Without the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11), the message of Jesus would have disappeared.  The incarnation would have been forgotten, the miracles and the sinless life not mentioned, even the crucifixion and resurrection would not be remembered but for that Holy Spirit.  The Bible was given to us by Him; He inspired its writing and is the life within it.  D.L. Moody said, “And if it had not been for the Holy Ghost coming down to bear witness to Christ, to testify of His death and resurrection, these facts [events of Jesus’ life] would have been forgotten as soon as His birth.”
    The Holy Spirit then, is vital to our lives and daily walk.  We are to live, to grow, to walk in the Spirit.  It is He who gives us power to be a witness (martyr).  It is the Spirit that will guide us along the road to glory.  Think of that glorious promise of Romans 8:11.  Those words were at one time my favorite chorus.

         “If that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead
         Dwell in you, dwell in you,
         If that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead
         Dwell in you, dwell in you,
         He shall quicken your mortal body, if that Spirit dwell in you,
         He shall quicken your mortal body, if that Spirit dwell in you.”

You cannot read through the New Testament (and much of the Old) without seeing the work of the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps that would be a good devotional study–reading the passages in the Scripture that speak of the Spirit.