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I love how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. He is always ready and willing to help us grow and change. But He's a gentleman; He patiently and gently guides us into truth. And the fact is no matter how much we try to be or do what's good and right, we can never produce the lasting fruit we're hoping for in our lives without His help.

God wants all His children to be blessed and live full, happy and productive lives in Him. Ephesians 3:16 (AMP) tells us He wants us to "be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself] indwelling your innermost being and personality]." He is there to help us take each step on our journey to becoming more Christlike.

As we pray and study God's Word, eventually we begin to recognize a need for change in our life. It can be a struggle sometimes to accept that we are the ones who need to change, but He is guiding us into the truth about ourselves ... not anyone else. We must first acknowledge that the need for change is our own.

I certainly understand how difficult it can be sometimes to face the truth about y-o-u. It was hard for me when God would deal with me about myself. There were times when I would grab hold of the legs of my desk, crying out to Him to hold me because I wanted so badly to run from what He was doing in my life.

But even though it was challenging, I knew I had to go through those seasons in order to gain freedom and victory over my problems. You see, anything we run from will always have a certain amount of power over us. But when we face the truth, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will conquer more ground and the enemy will lose his grip!

The thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit lives in us, and He wants to help us, teach us and guide us. He is always working according to God's perfect plan for each of our lives. So when He begins to deal with us about something on the inside, we need to pay attention because His supernatural help is available right then for us to be able to face and deal with our issues.

When God began healing me from the sexual, physical and emotional abuse I experienced growing up, my husband, Dave, gave me a book by a woman who'd had a similar experience in her life. I didn't want to read it, but the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, "It's time." It was time for me to take the next step on my journey, and so we began the work of dealing with my past.

The Lord patiently works with each of us according to His purpose and plan for our life. He wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit to make us strong on the inside so we can handle things on the outside. Then when a spouse or a friend is grouchy with us, we can instead be loving and kind to them. Or if something is irritating to us, we can exercise patience while we work through it. And we can speak a word at just the right time to someone who needs encouragement as God works through us to touch others' lives. In that case, it's vital to be a vessel that is "wholly filled and flooded with God Himself" (vs. 19), because it's not just for you alone.

Our lives are meant to touch and affect other lives. We, as believers, are the only hope the world has of seeing Jesus. So He not only wants to heal you, but He also wants to touch others through you. God's plan is perfect. His timing is perfect. His way is perfect. Have you heard the Holy Spirit say to you, "It's time"? Then trust Him ... He will help you work through your healing and make you a vessel of healing for others as well.

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and You Can Begin Again. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce, visit charismamag.com/meyer.

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