Monday, October 6, 2014

Led by the Spirit

"God, I love you...but I'm afraid of the Holy Spirit.  I don't want to be.  And I know it sounds ridiculous because you are one and the same.  But there it is.  Please help me overcome this fear.  Amen."

That was a prayer I prayed about twenty years ago.  I grew up in a denomination which talked a LOT about God.  They even liked to talk about Jesus.  But they were uncomfortable in talking about the Holy Spirit.  Isn't that pretty much the way it is?  The world will talk about God comfortably.  But bring up Jesus and they shut down.  Christians will talk about Jesus, but bring up the Holy Spirit in most circles and the conversation nosedives!  I grew up afraid of the Holy Spirit.  I believe it was taught by my denomination.

In the past 20 years, I've become acquainted with the Holy Spirit.  It sounds ludicrous that I was fearful.  After all, he indwelt me at the point of salvation.  But I've learned the Holy Spirit is a gentleman.  Yes...he comes in and occupies our hearts, but I believe he only takes control as we give up our control of each area of our hearts and lives.

What does the Holy Spirit do?
  • He fills & controls us.  Acts 6:5
  • God's love is poured out in us through the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5
  • His mind is life and soul peace. Romans 8:6
  • He is evidence that we belong to God. Romans 8:9
  • He prays for us.  Romans 8:26
  • He confirms truth in our hearts.  Romans 9:1
  • He fills us with hope.  Romans 15:13
  • His power produces signs and wonders.  Romans 15:19
  • He searches and examines truth.  I Corinthians 2:10
  • He produces fruit in us.  Galatians 5:22
  • He comforts, counsels, helps, intercedes, is our advocate, strengthener, standby, teacher, reminds us of what God has taught us.  John 14:26  (All verses from Amplified Version)
This is just a small glimpse of the power and works of the Holy Spirit.  Can you see already what we miss out on if we stop him?  In the first 29 years of my Christian walk, very little grace, light, or hope eeked out of me because I resisted the work of the Holy Spirit.  I was afraid to allow him control of my life.  Why, do you ask?  Because I was afraid he would require me to get out of my comfort zone.  He might give me gifts I didn't want.  He might ask me to do something crazy.  I mean, his first appearance to the church was to come as tongues of fire and cause men to speak in other languages.  That had to look pretty crazy!  But you have to look at the results of that day...3000 men came to Christ!  My fear prevented life and soul peace.  It stunted the growth of fruit in my life.

How can we be led by the Spirit of God if we're resisting him at the same time?  We can't.  Oh, I know God can overcome our resistances.  He is God.  But I believe He's a benevolent God who has given us free choice.  And He waits to be wanted.  I can grab one of my grandchildren and force a hug, but how much sweeter when they crawl up in my lap and hug me because they want to express love to me?  Or you may be like one of my grandsons who was unabashed in his love for me.  He loved to smell me.  It started when he was a little guy and I'd catch him smelling me as I held him.  But then he moved to Florida.  I remember the first time I went to visit after we hadn't seen each other in quite some time.  When I got in the van and sat beside him on the ride from the airport, he kept leaning over and taking in great gulps of smells of me!  I was laughing hysterically!  Don't you think God delights when we open ourselves that way to the Holy Spirit?

My prayer is that we'll stop resisting the Holy Spirit and start allowing him to lead us.  He wants that more than we do.

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