Salvation occurs when we trust Jesus as our Savior. He forgives us, transforms us, and sees us as righteous. At that moment, we are redeemed, and though we will continue to struggle with sin, it is a defeated foe. Then as time goes on, our service, gifts and love for God should naturally become greater (Luke 24:36-49).

Unfortunately, a lot of Christians sit in church week after week, going through the motions yet lacking passion and failing to grow. How is that possible? Tragically, many believers are unaware of the essential ministry of God’s Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity and co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. The opening chapter of Scripture tells us that He existed before the formation of the earth and participated in creation (Gen. 1:2, 26). Today, He has the critical role of helping and counseling all believers.

The Holy Spirit is a gift to every child of God. His presence within us isn’t something we have to earn. Instead, it is a marvelous privilege—by indwelling our hearts, He can strengthen and steer each believer away from danger and into truth (John 16:7-8). Scripture tells us that Jesus came so we could experience a full life (John 10:10). This is possible only when we listen to His Spirit and obey.

Are you experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised? He wasn’t talking about happy circumstances but rather the joy possible through a relationship with Him. If you’re lacking in this area, consider your understanding of the Holy Spirit, and pray to be in tune with His promptings.

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Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Carthage.