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JI Packer on Life in the Spirit

Posted in Charismatic, Holy Spirit

J.I. Packer offers a great insight about life in the Spirit in his book, Keep in Step with the Spirit. I read it quoted by another author. Packer says,

The Spirit works through means—through the objective means of grace, namely, biblical truth, prayer, fellowship, worship, and the Lord's Supper, and with them through the subjective means of grace whereby we open ourselves to change, namely, thinking, listening, questioning oneself, examining oneself, admonishing oneself, sharing what is in one's heart with others, and weighing any response they make. The Spirit shows his power in us, not by constantly interrupting our use of these means with visions, impressions, or prophecies...(communications come only rarely, and to some believers not at all), but rather by making these regular means effective to change us for the better and for the wiser as we go along....Habit forming is the Spirit's ordinary way of leading us on in holiness....Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are all of them habitual...ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

His leaning here is good one—toward the more "normal" ways that the Spirit works in our lives. But we would add that the Spirit's spontaneous, personal, and powerful work in our lives is also part of this catalog of ways that he works in us. What Packer gives us, when we add this personal, powerful dimension of the Spirit's work, is how to get more of God's Spirit in us. So be encouraged and be transformed as you apply these simple (though challenging for sure!) truths.

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