Galatians 3:2-4 (NLT)
2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
The apostle here addresses the Galatians who have placed their faith in Christ, but still continued to seek justification by works according to the Law of Moses. He questions them as to when the Holy Spirit was received, was it when they performed works or when they came to faith in Christ? It was through Christ that they received the Holy Spirit into their lives to lead them and cry out to God for them. The apostle wanted them to realize it was their faith in Christ that justified them and that it was Christ who would show them a new way to live.
It's easy to blame others (and thus justify ourselves) for our disobedience. But in the following quote, Thomas Merton identifies the key reason why we fail to experience the freedom and joy Christ offers believers:
It is not that someone else is preventing you from living happily; you yourself do not know what you want. Rather than admit this [and ask for God's help], you pretend that someone else is keeping you from exercising your liberty. Who is this? It is you yourself. [Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation (New Directions, 2007), p. 110]
God has given us directions on how to live our lives, but most importantly the Holy Spirit of Christ dwells within those who have placed their faith in Christ to guide and direct their lives. Jesus said in John 16:13-14, �When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, �The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.�� So our guidance on how to live our lives comes through Christ by means of the Holy Spirit.
We all need to learn to put aside our own ways and listen as the Holy Spirit directs us. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ, talking with Him, asking for help from Him, and letting Him lead us is some of the most important things we can do.
In John Chapter 6:28-29, the people asked Jesus a question and He responded, �28 They replied, �We want to perform God�s works, too. What should we do?� 29 Jesus told them, �This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.��
Do you believe? If so everything else will start to fall into place as you maintain your faith in Christ.