Dear Saints of the Living God – Grace and Mercy to you and your family.
There are several beautiful songs written about presence of the Holy Spirit and gentleness and leading of the Holy Ghost… and this morning, let us pick one of those songs that is very soothing to the heart…
Come, Holy Spirit, I need you
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way
2 days ago, as i was watching the Wimbledon woman’s finals – Chris Everett, made a comment about Kvitova (the winner of the women’s title) saying, where will Kivitova go from here depends on her waking up tomorrow to say, yesterday is over, i need more or i am happy with where i am, and walking away from it like the last year’s Wimbledon champion. It is choice that has to be made. You see, that’s exactly same with us and the Holy Spirit, we could go on with our Christian life or we long and thirst for the Holy Spirit saying – I need you, in fact, i need you desperately in my life; i want to be soaked and hidden in your presence, i need your strength today to carry my mission, and i need your power to overcome my hurdles and challenges… There is no magical prayer or someone laying hands on us to receive it – we need to seek earnestly and and be filled up…
When we read Luke 11:11 – 12, Jesus says, “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?” – over the years, this verse was interpretted for the resources that need… but if we read the next verse, it says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”; The Lord is willing to give this good gift to everyone who asks…
Let our journey begin…
I grew up in the Catholic church all my life – and so praying in tongues or dancing in the church during the worship was not part of our church life style, until, i went to college, where i had a chance to be with couple of wonderful brothers, very pentecostal, who were teaching about the various facets of the spiritual life, and often times, Holy Spirit is prime topic of discussion. It was still a book knowledge and nice experience in the pentecostal church, until this one time, i went on a retreat, where we were asked to go all by ourselves without food into a mountains of Kodaikanal (southern part of India) with just a bible, we were asked to search ourselves… and i still cannot forget the experience – because, it was a very cold mountain and i can feel the cold breeze brushing through my face, but my body was completely hot… and i was asking inviting God to come into my life… i cried, cried and cried… with loud voice… It wasn’t like the heavens opened or the bush burning experience – but the Lord was speaking about how one day, i will become fishers of men… it was a total surrender… and so my journey started…
There are moments in our life, we may fall down, not knowing where to begin – the only way to recover from that is to allow the Holy Spirit to sit on the driver seat.
That’s why it is so important to explore the importance of filling of the Holy Spirit…
As Paul writes to Galatians church in Galatians 5:16, “But i say, walk by Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh”; These days, every where we go, there is some one talking about how to improve ourselves such as healthy eating habits, or to get a better paying job, or pursue a college degree etc., these are all results of our search to find a better place for us on this earth.
Instead, if we start to search inside and ask the Lord on how to become more like Christ, then we will find ourselves improving our lifestyle… Scripture memorization, bible study, and serving others are all wonderful ways to grow in faith, but if we want to truly improve ourselves then, we need to invite the Holy Spirit to transform us from inside out.
As we yield ourselves to the Spirit, He will begin to express the life of Christ through us.
The beautiful part of this journey is, that the Holy Spirit will not force you and me to change, but the only way, we will experience our full potential in Christ is by cooperating with Him.
Who is in-charge?
We are certainly in the period of self gratification, in fact these concepts are starting in the modern day church campuses, instead of the finding the purpose and power of the third person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit, the churches has replaced the power of God with the performance of man, instead of singing “come Holy Spirit, i need you”, the churches are saying, “Lights… Cameras… action”. We can preach sermons, teach Sunday school, feed the poor, and minister to the hurting in our own strength. In fact, entire churches can function without any help from the Spirit. But that’s not what God wants.
The work He has for us is supernatural and requires a corresponding power to accomplish it. None of us are adequate for the task, apart from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as He works through us. Can you imagine, the Lord spoke about it to the disciples, and told them to wait for the Holy Spirit before they start ministering, in other words, Jesus was saying – you will not be ready for the Job – spreading the gospel, unless you are filled with the Holy Ghost.
Sometimes, my heart hurts to see how much of production that goes into getting the service organized, and not find a cross anywhere in the sanctuary setting. We don’t need to follow that patterns of this modern day churches, instead I am writing this morning to encourage you and me about slowing down and getting on our knees and thirsting for the Holy Spirit… we need to long for the spirit of the Lord to abide in us.
I know – we are scared of loosing control, you see, there is a battle going on inside of every believer in Christ. The Holy Spirit wants to lead us into obedience to God, but our flesh desires its own way. To make the matters worse, the enemy tries to convince us that freedom is achieved by doing whatever we want, but in reality, that can only end in bondage.
As i am writing this, the Lord is convicting me about a very specific area in my life, where i am battling to give the control back to Christ… i am asking the Lord with sincere heart to forgive my self-reliance…
When we talk about having control, it reminds me of of the spider monkey, we are in more ways, act like them in our life. The hunters, when they want to catch them… they will leave peanuts in a glass jar with a narrow opening, and the spider monkeys who come for those peanuts will see their hands stuck as they pick the peanuts but they are not smart enough to let the peanuts go for them to be freed to take their hands out… We are like those spider monkeys – not ready to let go the peanuts. They are not worth it, but we hold them so tight, leading to the enslavement.
God promises that if we will walk by the spirit, letting Him lead the way, we wont carry our desires of the flesh. We need to consistently surrendering the authority back to Him. That’s when we will realize His power is increasing in us and our flesh becoming less dominant. I am not talking about a life of perfection, but one that is bent toward obedience.
How do we know if the Holy Spirit is in us? We may stumble and fall from time to time, but when we are filled with the Spirit, we will feel the thug in our heart saying – what we did is not right… and the prompting will not stop, until we go and make the wrong – right. I know it came out very preachy, but there is a truth hidden in there.
You know, the filling of the Holy Spirit is not applied to the people who are serving in the ministry or the priest… we all need the Spirit’s power for every aspect of our life. We are all called to live a spirit filled life…. it is hard to be a godly father or proverbs31 mother, or friend who can forgive, when what they did still hurts deeply, it is hard to take the challenges even when we know it has bitterness attached to it… just to live every day life, we need this supernatural intervention…
None of the fruits that Paul is talking about in Galatians 5:22 – 25,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
can we be accomplished with our own strength we need to live super-naturally… we all are striving to become better Christians, and these characteristics cannot be fabricated with self-effort; i know it is a struggle, but as we bend, we will be able to display His characters in everything that we do.
As we lay it down at His feet, He’ll replace it with a life filled with Joy, Strength and Power… more importantly the Freedom… and we will become the person He created us to be. In the coming days, we will meditate on how to be filled with the Holy Spirit and what happens when we walk in the Spirit… i also liked the argument made by John Piper, on difference of the same sentence used by Paul and Luke, when it comes to Holy Spirit… as we get deeper in the word, i pray the Lord will speak to us in this area.
You know what – our maturity and growth can be achieved only when we learn to let our peanuts go… when we let go of our pride… then it removes us from being in control of everything… our self reliance needs to be crucified… He’s waiting for you and me to let go the plastic face that we are wearing, even when we go before the Lord. we need to let go the veil that is tampering the vision from seeing where the Lord wants us to go.
Lot of times, we don’t know what we want or where we want to go – but the Holy Spirit does… and that’s another reason, we need to invite Him in our life – and as we relinquish the control, He will take over our life.
May the good Lord bless you!
-- In Christ! Cyril cyril@proverbs226