One of my new favorite songs says that “the Spirit of the Lord is here.” Now you might think that’s because the music is great, or the atmosphere has captured our hearts, or that we’re tuned into God at that moment, or even that some are experiencing ecstasy. All that may be true. But there’s much more going on. And the evidence really IS all around!

“The Spirit of the Lord is here” because the “children of the Lord” are here. True children of God are “born again” by God’s Spirit, who enters us when we receive Christ’s salvation. So, wherever we are, there He is.

What many new believers (and some of us older ones) fail to understand, however, is the incredible potential for good that we followers of Jesus possess. Potential for becoming more like Jesus. Potential for blessing others. Potential for serving God as ambassadors for Christ. We even have the potential to free others from the oppression they’re experiencing at present.

But our potential only becomes reality when we cooperate with Jesus as Lord. I’ve learned that my life is far more fruitful, more enjoyable, more useful and meaningful when I choose to do what He wants instead of what I want.

Paul begins Romans 12 with by urging his readers that, “In view of the mercies of God,” it just makes sense to offer our bodies to God as “living sacrifices” and let God transform our minds by renewing them with his Holy Spirit. If we do, Paul says, we will think differently and can test and prove that God’s will is actually good, acceptable, and perfect. Then we’ll be ready to serve God using His power in a way that delights and honors him and blesses our church.

So, how do we start the engine? It’s simple. All we have to do is ask–and surrender to Him. God loves to answer the prayer, “Please, Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit.”

Being filled with the Holy Spirit means being controlled by Him. Paul urges his Roman readers to  “walk by the Spirit, not according to the flesh.” He means you can’t have it both ways; your way and God’s. To get the most out of life, you need to give up control over yours and let God call the shots. (Few Christians would argue that they’re smarter, wiser, more brilliant than God.)

I have been asking God to fill me with His Spirit for the last several years. Daily. Sometimes, hourly! And He does! I experience His love. His joy. His peace–and a host of other God’s character qualities. When I surrender to His will to serve as He chooses, to be a blessing to others, God empowers me to do just that. It’s amazing!

Do I get it wrong? Sure. I haven’t become perfect yet (ask Beth). But I have become better! And I’m having a blast. I encourage you to make the same discovery and just see what God can do in and through you!