Which is better? The Spirit working in our hearts to bring about Christ-likeness in our actions? Or God taking events that take place in our lives to mold in us the character of Christ?
In my time with God this morning I read from The Message and I loved the way it expressed the fruit of the Spirit:
The Message (MSG)
22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Having been totally blessed by this I headed for the internet through BibleGateway.com to look up some more scriptures the Spirit has placed on my mind and came across a wonderful version in The Voice translation, which is new to me:
The Voice (VOICE)
27 Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God? 28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. 29-30 From the distant past, His eternal love reached into the future. You see, He knew those who would be His one day, and He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of a new family of believers, all brothers and sisters. As for those He chose beforehand, He called them to a different destiny so that they would experience what it means to be made right with God and share in His glory.
I don’t have to decide which is better, because with God all things are possible, and He knows which way works best in all things. I am grateful that he can work both from the inside out and from the outside in!