Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)

As far back as I can remember my journey of spiritual growth has been like a tug of war between my heart and my mind.

I readily accepted God as my Creator and Jesus as my Saviour however I remained guarded about accepting the Holy Spirit as my guide. I reasoned that I didn’t need anyone to help me or guide me. After all, if the people I expected to build me up weren’t there for me why would the Holy Spirit be, besides I didn’t know the Holy Spirit, nor understand Him, nor believe in His power for myself? As a means to cope with my circumstances, I was independent, self- sufficient, relied on no one and never asked for help – also fear of being exposed, vulnerable and relinquishing control prevented me from getting to know the person of the Holy Spirit.

I chose to study the Holy Spirit because I recognized that something was shifting in my life and that despite my resistance, God was winning the tug of war between my mind and my heart. His still small voice called out to me to come to Him and His word and fully experience all that He could offer. I did not appreciate that the Holy Spirit lived in me, because I didn’t recognize Him and wasn’t looking for Him. Now following this six-week study, I believe beyond a doubt that the person of the Holy Spirit is real and understand that he is with me and in me at all times, as per John 14:17. “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”

My revelations about the person of the Holy Spirit were numerous. Firstly, once I began to know Him, I started to appreciate that He is so much more than a guide. Wow!  He is my counsellor, my helper, my advocate, encourage and strengtheners – He is the voice of truth which can speak into my life as I get to know Him and build a relationship with Him. I can rely on Him and trust Him. He is ever present, in the here and now and available to me. 

Secondly, I learned that I can live in the fullness of His power; as in Philippians 3:10 ``I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead``. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to me, every minute of every hour of every day when I choose it. Wow! I also gained an understanding of the Holy Spirit as an extension of Jesus; as in our memory verse ``but the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.`` 

As a result of these revelations I have chosen to practice purposefully living in the Spirit - ``For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit``. (Romans 14:17).  This last scripture verse, I received as confirmation during week four when I was away from the study at a Joyce Meyer’s conference. There I was encouraged to live a deeper life, one grounded on God’s Word, instead of what I want, think or feel.

In my daily walk with Him, I have been making an intentional effort to apply these revelations. I have already begun to change my prayer life by delighting in Him and boldly asking for the desires of my heart. I am learning to be obedient and doing things knowing that I am empowered by the Holy Spirit, standing on the ground of His Word instead of groaning about how I feel. I am choosing to purposefully and habitually walk in peace and joy instead of complaining. I am consciously focusing on what God is doing in me and through me by the power of the Holy Spirit instead worrying and being anxious about the unexpected circumstances that life may or may not send my way. I am praying in tongues, sometimes simply moaning and groaning, which has brought great comfort, peace and removed worry, anxiety and fear particularly when it comes to my children. I guard my heart and mind my words.

I pray that as I grow in the process of becoming more like Jesus, I will increasingly and willingly choose to walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh. To achieve this, I purposefully invite Him into my day and every decision, so that He can help me follow God’s ways, I ask Him how and with whom He can use me, and I turn to Him first when uneasiness, uncertainty or doubt come my way.

Also, I am learning to accept myself based on who I am in Christ rather than who I am not and by His grace He is changing me from glory to glory. Where once there was stress, worry and anxiety now there is peace, joy and power. I am thriving to make this a practice in my life so that I am always prepared and willing to be a witness to the glory of Jesus in my daily walk. 

Practically speaking, this means;
-praying about my concerns and surrendering them to God
-stop trying to figure it all out and trusting God
-not being afraid of what God might do in me and through me and allowing Him free reign
-holding on to joy and peace knowing and believing that God is in control
-persist, seek, pursue, persevere and never give up
-and above all else, give of myself, my time, my talent, my resources freely

As a result of this study, I am learning to discern my truest and deepest commitments from my insecurities and am committed, now more than ever, to serving Christ and doing whatever it takes to bring glory to God and His Kingdom.

Published March 2014