The Spirit’s Deep Work

Journal Entry // August 24, 2022

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (ESV)

Galatians 5:9

Whenever I come across this verse in Galatians, I typically view the leaven as sin that in only a small amount can affect everything in my life. This is true and rightly teaches about the pervasiveness of unchecked sin in my heart. This morning, as I was reading this passage my mind focused on the leaven representing the Spirit and the pervasiveness of the Holy Spirit to work and act in every area of life. That I only need to be aware of even a hint of the Spirit within me to see the work of righteousness and holiness being spread throughout the whole of me. This is not a passive action though. The leaven does not just disperse itself throughout the lump of dough. You must massage the dough and work at it to move the leaven around and spread it evenly throughout the whole dough. So too with the Spirit within me. The Spirit does the work, but I work in tandem through the power of Christ to see the fruit of the Spirit come alive in my heart.

Just a little bit of spiritual awareness is all it takes to awaken my heart and soul to the righteousness and holiness of Christ in me. Just a little bit of understanding and nurturing of my heart in the pure grace and mercy of the Spirit that’s alive within me. It takes daily interaction with the Spirit. It takes daily preaching of the gospel to my heart and soul. It takes work and effort to integrate the Spirit into every crevis and corner of my heart and mind. It takes repentance and faith to live in the strength and power of Christ alone. It is a daily constant walk with Jesus.

I want this process of sanctification to be easy and simple but I know that it is filled with trials and adversity as the Spirit, in working to transform me, must necessarily remove those dark intentions and deceptive lies that still cling to me. There is an active participation and partnership between me and the Spirit in this process. It is not just a one-sided transformation. If I want to change and become more like my Savior, it will take daily effort. It will have me walk through the highest mountains and the lowest valleys. It will have me deal with the darkest and most treacherous places of my heart and mind. It will have me look intently at my soul and truly examine myself in the light of God’s revealed glory. The Spirit will have me be honest about my motivations and desires. Honest with myself and honest with the Lord.

This honesty before the Lord is the tricky part. I want to lie to myself and pretend like everything is great when I am aware of the thoughts I harbor and hide. I am aware of my deeply set and entrenched struggles and failures. I lie to myself so easily and convince myself that they are just simple habits that have always been there and that everyone has. I deceive myself into thinking that these little indiscretions are not going to dampen and hinder my spiritual walk with the Spirit of Christ within me. I listen to the lies of the enemy who is only seeking to destroy my soul.

This is where the working of the Spirit throughout the whole of my life is critical to loving Christ and loving others. The Spirit must penetrate and invade every area of my life. I can’t be satisfied with only letting the Spirit transform my comfortable areas. I must let the Spirit do the work of renewal and redemption in every area of my life. I want to desire a changed heart. A fully changed heart. A heart that no longer sees the fleeting pleasures of this world as of any worthwhile investment. A heart that only sees the true treasure of Christ in me. A heart that only seeks to please his Father. A heart that loves Christ with each and every beat. A heart that sees the abundant grace of God richly flooding his entire being. A heart dedicated to humility and obedience to Christ alone in everything.

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