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Spotting the difference

By Dr Dion Forster

Albert Hubbard once commented that if your religion doesn't change you, then it is time to change your religion.  You might be tired of religion, those trappings that just seem to bind you and not fill you with life and blessing and joy.  You don't have time to be bogged down with things that don't bring life and give life to others and allow you to experience God's life.
What is it that sets apart those people who are so contagious about their faith, who experience the blessing and joy of knowing God and serving God, who are able to achieve things that transform society and bring blessing and life to others who simply plod along and don't manage to experience anything of the blessing and joy that God wants for their lives?  

What sets aside Christians who truly experience the joy and blessing and power of God in their lives and use that power to bring transformation and healing to others? John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church once commented about the new Methodist movement saying that he doesn't fear that the people called Methodists will ever seize to exist, but what he does fear is that they will become dull and lifeless, devoid of the power of religion, having just the trappings and the outward appearance of religion.

Can you say the same thing about your relationship with Jesus?  Are you so in love with Him through the Holy Spirit that you cannot help but tell others about this Jesus and what He does for you?  The simple message of the Spirit is not something that comes from wisdom, or words, or knowledge of the scriptures, it simply comes from a love for God and a love for what God has done for you and wants to do for others.

You need to realize that the Spirit of God is both the author and the sustainer of true faith.  The Spirit of God is the one who gives you your task.  It gives the church its power to fulfill those tasks and the Spirit of God is the one that gives you true life.  That is what the bible tells us.  The Spirit literally changes you from within.

When you have the Spirit of God within you, it is something that naturally bubbles up from within and the miracles begin to take place that shape your hands and your voice and your life.  They begin to take on the very character, what the bible calls the fruit of the Spirit.  That is the reality, when your life changes from within, those inward changes are often so powerful that they change you on the outside as well.  That is a miracle.
When God created you, God intended for you to be a person who influences and brings joy to others, a person who not only is a blessing to others but knows the joy of being blessed.  That kind of purpose and focus only comes through God the Holy Spirit.  It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that God can use you to transform and change the lives of others.

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