“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Ephesians 2:1-2
When God created plant, animal and human life, He placed over each a governing force that enabled them to function properly. Plant life is governed by the seasons. Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Animals are governed by instinct, which is like a computer chip in their brains that tell them what to do. This is how birds know to fly south for the winter at the proper time and how to return to the same spot each spring.
We know the devastation that occurs when the seasons do not work. If the rains come too forcefully, too late or not at all, it can wreak havoc on our ecosystem. If a bird somehow lost its instinct, it would have no idea how to survive. Just as God gave the seasons to plant life and instinct to animals, He gave His own Spirit as the governing force for human beings. The sad reality is that much of humanity has lost the Spirit of God, and the consequences have been disastrous.
God created mankind in His moral image with His Spirit placed within us to govern how we live and behave. We were designed to function in relationship with Him, but when sin entered the world, God removed His Spirit from us. In that moment, human beings became like flashlights without batteries, cars without gas, pens without ink. Separated from God, we are spiritually dead, confused as to what is right and true and incapable of functioning as we were created to.
Without the governing force of God’s Spirit, there is a vacuum left that we will inevitably try to fill by following the ways of this world and gratifying the desires and thoughts of our sinful nature. What we do is not our real problem; the real problem is that we are sinners, separated from God, which is the cause of what we do. In the Garden of Eden, spiritual death was a consequence of disobedience, and apart from Christ, no amount of legalism or behaviour modification will solve this problem.
The antidote to being disobedient is that in having been raised to life in Christ, God redirects us to good works. Paul states, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). The Holy Spirit placed within us turns our will, desires and aspirations towards that which is good and enables us to do it. This is life lived as it was intended: in dependence on the Holy Spirit as the governing force of our lives.
PRAYER: Sovereign Lord, I know I was created to be indwelt and governed by Your Spirit. Help me listen to His prodding, and thank You for the ways He is transforming me my life.