If we’re being honest with ourselves, we have to admit that relying on our own strength or ability doesn’t get us too far in our Christian walk. Our patience, love, endurance, goodness—whatever it is that’s required of us in different situations—all eventually run out. And sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of difficulties we simply can’t handle on our own. So how can we be strengthened to live our Christian life?
Today, we’ll focus on a short yet encouraging phrase in Galatians 3:5:
“He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit.”
What God supplies us with isn’t something material or temporary; He supplies us with the Spirit. Also, this verse doesn’t say God supplies a little, or even merely enough, of the Spirit. It says He bountifully supplies the Spirit to us.
So let’s take a closer look at the two parts of this phrase now.
What does God supply to us?
Galatians 3:5 tells us God bountifully supplies us not with some material objects or things, but with a wonderful person: the Spirit. To gain more appreciation and understanding of this fact, let’s read note 2 on the Spirit in the New Testament Recovery Version:
“The all-inclusive compound Spirit, typified by the compound ointment in Exo. 30:23-25. This is the Spirit mentioned in John 7:39, who is the life-imparting Christ in resurrection. To the believers in God’s New Testament economy, this Spirit is the bountiful supply. The supplying of this Spirit is altogether not out of the works of law but out of faith in the crucified and glorified Christ.”
This Spirit we’re bountifully supplied with is the life-imparting Christ in resurrection. He’s all-inclusive; in Him are life, love, patience, kindness, long-suffering, strength, rest, faithfulness, and everything we could ever need. Instead of depending on our limited resources and struggling on our own to live a Christian life, we can simply receive and enjoy this rich Spirit. By enjoying Him, we live Christ out in our daily life and He is expressed through us. This is the Christian life God wants us to have.
God supplies us bountifully
Now, let’s focus on the words “bountifully supplies.” In the New Testament Recovery Version, the first part of note 1 on bountifully says:
“The Greek word means supplies fully, bountifully, and liberally. See Phil. 1:19. On God’s side, He supplies the Spirit bountifully; on our side, we receive the Spirit. Day by day a marvelous divine transmission takes place: God supplies and we receive.”
On God’s side, He supplies us with the Spirit fully, bountifully, and liberally. God wants to be everything to us, in every situation in our life. Furthermore, He doesn’t supply us with enough to merely get by; His supply is generous, abundant, and unstinting. Whatever we’re going through, no matter how draining or perplexing, we can count on God to supply us bountifully with Himself as the Spirit to meet our need.
How we receive the bountiful supply of the Spirit
God bountifully supplies, but on our side, we need to receive. If we don’t open to receive, we won’t be able to enjoy what God supplies. So how can we receive the bountiful supply of the Spirit? The second part of note 1 mentions two ways:
“The way to open ourselves to this heavenly transmission to receive the supply of the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit is to exercise our spirit to pray and call on the Lord.”
We open ourselves to receive a big “dose” of the Spirit by praying to the Lord and calling on His name, “Lord Jesus!” Day by day, and even minute by minute, we can receive the transmission of the Spirit into us just by opening our mouth to pray and call on Him. We can do this anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance.
For example, let’s say we’re driving to work and hit every red light in heavy traffic. We’re now running late, and the later we are, the more upset and even angry with other drivers we become. We might think, “I’m a Christian, I shouldn’t be angry,” and attempt to be calm, but we’re not very successful. Then, instead of trying harder to be patient or calm, we remember that God bountifully supplies to us the Spirit and that we can turn our heart to the Lord and call on Him. So we cry out, “Oh, Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus, I need You! I need You right now in this traffic. Lord, I can’t make it without You!” As we open to Him this way, we immediately receive the supply of the Spirit. Inwardly, we experience a radical shift as we enjoy the Spirit supplied to us as our patience and calmness.
In the meantime, we encourage you to read John 7:39 and Philippians 1:19
Let’s all endeavor to receive and experience the bountiful supply of the Spirit day by day!