We cannot work hard enough to produce peace. Peace comes as a by-product of yielding our lives fully to the Holy Spirit. The same is true of joy, patience, gentleness, goodness, and all the other qualities listed above. The key to the Christian’s victory is recognizing and accepting the control of the Holy Spirit.

How then are we filled with the Holy Spirit, or controlled by the Holy Spirit? Having confessed our sins and accepted God’s forgiveness, we then ask Him to fill us, or control us, totally by His Spirit. That is, we ask the Holy Spirit to ascend the throne of our lives. That is a prayer God will answer because He has promised, “If we ask anything according to {His} will,” He will hear us and grant our petition (1 John 5:14). We know it is “according to His will” to fill us with His Spirit because of the command in Ephesians 5:18: “Be filled with the Spirit.” Therefore, when we ask Him to fill us, or control us, we know that He will.

We accept the Spirit’s control over our lives by faith. We do not wait nor plead for some great emotional experience. Having confessed our sins and asked for His control, we simply believe that He is working within us, and we journey along through life, trusting that through God’s Spirit we can nurture our marriages through candor, confession, and forgiveness.

The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted by Gary Chapman