We began 2023 talking about “Beginnings”. Then in February, we explored “Relationships”. You might not have realized that a fresh Wind blew in two weeks ago. March has been centered on the work of the Holy Spirit. Before we go any further, perhaps it would be a good idea for you to ask yourself, “How would I describe the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life? Go ahead, and think on that a minute. I’ll wait.
For me, it’s a lot like being in love or giving birth – exhilarating, but often overwhelming. It’s hard to describe the Spirit’s presence – even when you’re been smack dab in the middle of it. Trying to describe the depth of those emotions to someone who’s never experienced them seems as hard as getting toothpaste back into the tube.
I am no expert in theology when it comes to the Holy Spirit, however, I feel sure He will continue to teach me more of His ways with every new gray hair and wrinkle. I believe that’s the way God intended it. He’s not done with us – ever! Maybe part of heaven’s wonder will be our eyes opening to new things throughout all eternity. For me, that would indeed be heaven.
It’s been said that it’s easy to argue with a person’s theology, yet it’s difficult to argue with their transformation. The road to life-changing transformation begins with, continues, and is culminated by the Holy Spirit. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV)
The indwelling Holy Spirit promises we will become more and more like Jesus as we empty ourselves and fill up on Him. By choosing to forgive, we plant our feet into Jesus’ footsteps. When we happily place others’ needs above our own, we become more Christlike. By perceiving others’ failings through eyes of compassion rather than condemnation, we offer them the chance to catch a glimpse of Jesus. Speaking life over our enemies when others want to call down thunder and lightening nails our selfish desires to the cross. I know firsthand that we have no power on our own to do any of these things. Our only job is to decrease and allow the Spirit room to increase. With Him, anything is possible.
If you travel with me for very long you will make the same discovery my husband Ron made many years ago: I am severely directionally challenged. I’m so bad that my husband knows to grab both of my shoulders when we leave a restaurant or hotel room and turn them the way I should go. I almost always turn the wrong way. When I go to the grocery store I try to park in the same row so I can find my car when I return. I need one of those bumper stickers that says, “If you’re following me, you’re going the wrong way”. After all these years, Ron has finally figured out why I am the way I am – I don’t pay attention to where I’m going.
When we don’t pay attention to where the Spirit’s leading, we wind up wandering down life’s road just hoping we stumble onto our purpose. Scripture maps out what it takes to live an honorable life, but the Spirit grabs us by the shoulders, turns us toward the way we should go, and empowers us to move. He nudges us at just the right time to write that note, make that call, go see that friend, or to just listen when we think we don’t have the time. We can have the signal from God’s Word coming in loud and clear, but if we don’t pay attention, we miss our assignment.
Perhaps we could all use a bumper sticker that says, “Follow me. I’m not sure where the Spirit’s taking me today, but He knows the best places!”
“It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” (Romans 8:11-14 The Message)