Sometimes it may be a certain temptation or the difficulties of a close relationship. At other times it may be uncontrolled emotions.
Often our physical health has an effect on our feelings. We may be extremely tired, and because we don’t feel exhilarated, we may think we aren’t filled with the Spirit. However, emotions are not a dependable guide. Our feelings may be simply due to our need for rest, more physical exercise or a balanced diet.
Any sin in our lives can prevent the Holy Spirit from exercising His influence in us. This is why I have tried to develop the habit of keeping short accounts with God. And as I walk closely with God, my acts of disobedience become less frequent. The more I obey Him, the more the Holy Spirit strengthens me to resist the temptation the next time. I recall one little area in my life that continually gave me the opportunity to rely on the Holy Spirit to help me respond correctly. My dear Bill was so devoted to the Lord and to serving Him that if it was not absolutely necessary to eat, he would completely forget about mealtime. Through most of our married life, I had to telephone him every evening to remind him to come home for dinner. Over the years, I learned to look at the clock and gauge my call according to the time it would take him to get his things together at the office and arrive home for dinner.
Only the power of the Holy Spirit could enable me to accept my husband’s little idiosyncrasy and to make my call pleasant and even a special pleasure. But occasionally I decided he should be able to get home for dinner on his own initiative, so his forgetfulness irritated me.
Whenever I failed to call him with an attitude of patience and love, I knew what to do. Bill called the corrective action “Spiritual Breathing.” In Spiritual Breathing, we exhale by confessing our sins and inhale by appropriating God’s promise of filling. I can claim God’s marvelous promise of forgiveness and filling and know that He hears me. First John 5:14-15 says, “We can be confident that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will. And if we know He is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that He will give us what we ask for.”
Walking in the Spirit is the way we can give back to God for what He has done for us. I have deep joy today realizing that the decision I made to let Christ rule my life allowed me not be set aside but to be set straight—straight on a path of the wonderful life of a true Christian woman.
We’re saddened to announce that Vonette Bright died December 23rd at the age of 89. This godly and vivacious woman impacted many people around the world with her love for God.
Vonette was the co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) along with her late husband, Dr. William R. Bright. Bill and Vonette were married 54 1/2 years before he went to be with the Lord in 2003.
- You’re invited to watch Vonette’s memorial service live on January 8, 2016, at 10:00 am ET (or watch the recorded service later). Find details here: http://vonettebright.cru.org/service.
- Read more about Vonette’s life and leave a tribute on Cru’s tribute site, vonettebright.com.
- Cru’s current president’s wife, Judy Douglass, has written a tribute on her blog: 5 Ways to Honor the Life of Vonette Bright.