1 Peter 1:14-15 says, “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in ALL your conduct.” We cannot be holy in our conduct in our own strength. That is impossible. Where do we get our strength? As we walk in the Spirit. Yielding to the Holy Spirit will help us to reckon ourselves dead to our flesh. Dead things have no response.
1 Peter 1:22 says that we purify our mind, will, and emotions, “…in obeying the truth through the Spirit…” John 16:13 says that the Holy Spirit, “…will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” In John 14:16 Jesus said that the Father would, “…give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” He described the Holy Spirit as, “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” John 8:31-32 says, “…If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Let me make one thing clear. Our standing position in Christ makes us holy. It is our present state that the Holy Spirit works with. In the above verses from 1 Peter, he used the words obedient and obeying. Let’s look at Jesus’ example. Hebrews 5:8-9 says, “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things that He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”
We are children of God being taught by the Holy Spirit how to obey. Are we learning all that the Holy Spirit wants to teach us? Trials are His training ground. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
We will only be trained by our trials when we embrace them fully. James 1:3 in the J. B. Phillips encouraged his readers to welcome their trials like friends. Maybe it will help if we picture a knock on our door. We open it and find our trial waiting. What is our fleshly reaction? Slam the door shut. However, if we have been trained by previous trials, we will open the door wide and fully embrace what stands before us.
Amos 9:9 was written about the children of Israel, yet we can take comfort from His words. It says, “…I will…sift the house of Israel…as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.” Jesus told Peter that satan wanted to sift him as wheat. Luke 22:32 says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Our sifting-trials are divinely orchestrated and tempered. All the while Jesus is interceding for us. Every trial, no matter its magnitude, purifies our faith. It brings up the hidden dross of unbelief. Any lie of satan that we have believed is like a land mine ready to explode. We remain unaware until the Lord uses our trial to reveal it. We can fully embrace each trial knowing that it is for our spiritual growth, strengthening for our faith, and the impartation of His grace so we can endure for His glory.