Have you ever walked along a creek bed? I'm sure if you have followed me on instagram you have seen the overload of pictures I take from our journeys on this trail by our house and the beautiful scenery the trees and creek lend to the serenity and splendor of nature.
The creek and trail is beautiful regardless of whether or not it has rained enough for water to fill the creek bed. The creek is made to hold water. Water, does not need the creek, but the creek is made to support abundant life through flowing water. The creek supplies life to fish, frogs, snakes and other wild life as well as the trees and vegetation along the banks. It changes and shifts when the water is rushing through or gently dancing along the rocky ridges. It is still beautiful without water running through it, but there is something even more beautiful when you combine beauty with purpose.
This is the essence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Perhaps we are more comfortable with knowing about God, knowing about the Holy Spirit, but actually coming to experience Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit is a bit terrifying. Focusing on behavior is more reasonable than focusing on matters of the heart and the potential of our specific beauty and purpose combination.
Maybe you have been following along with my posts on Doing the hard things, or Serving in sacrifice and in theory, all those things sound like great ideas. Truth is, choosing to do the hard things in life, and choosing to serve when you feel like you have nothing left are not easy choices, but when you put your dependency on Christ and invite the Spirit to go before you, you become filled with the living water that is is able to teach you, remind you, intercede for you and to help you do the very things you are not capable of doing on your own, in your own strength.
When you try to do it all in your own strength, you become exhausted, weary and you might stumble and fall.
There have been several very distinct times in my life I have been able to jump out in faith only because I knew the Spirit was prompting me. When I stayed home with Jude and we had very little income, when the Lord prompted us to Homeschool and I felt inadequat and terrified. When we were in search of a Homeschooling community. When my husband went from working for a great company to jumping into his business full time and more recently when the Spirit prompted me to follow my husbands lead on changing to a different church after 12 years. Honestly, every single day in homeschooling I wake up and say, "Lord, what do you have for me today? Please lead me in teaching my kids and knowing exactly what each of them needs to learn and hear today. Let me be open to being flexible and going where you need me to if the opportunity presents itself. Fill me with the Holy Spirit.
When you repeatedly ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit, here are some characteristics that may shift your thinking and change the coarse of your day. When we as christians and followers of Christ are filled with the Holy Spirit:
We are able to love stronger, experience overflowing joy, a peace that surpasses understanding, a patience that is without bounds, a kindness that is genuine, goodness that can only point to Christ, gentleness of compassion and understanding, faithfulness when you can not find all the answers, and self-control because there is power in the Spirit. (fruit of the Spirit is found in Galatians 5:22).
Every day there is an opportunity to call on the Lord and ask to be lead by the Spirit. That is a scary thing. Most of us choose not to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us because we are afraid of the things God will ask us to do or the people he might ask us to talk to or where we might be asked to go!
The Holy Spirit is a precious gift Jesus and the Father left us so that we would not feel alone. Do you know that God sent the Spirit as an intimate helper, an advocate for us (intimate means it is personalized just for you, the Spirit knows your inner thoughts and desires) so that we would not "feel" like we have to do all of these things that are out of our comfort zone, in our own strength. God the Father and Jesus the Son sent a Helper to continue to do a work in us after Jesus could no longer continue to be our Helper on Earth.
When you choose to claim the power of the Holy Spirit and to walk with the Spirit as a follower of Christ, you choose to activate the heart, eyes, ears and mind of Christ. You are choosing and asking to continue to be refined from the inside out to live out the call that God has placed on your life.
Sadly, so many of us Christians choose to just acknowledge that we know who Christ is, and it is sad and misleading. Sad that we are missing out on so much more that Christ has for us and misleading to those who are not followers of Christ.
Mamas and Daddys, it starts with us. Ask to be led by the Spirit every single day so that you do not miss out on an opportunity to love someone who needs to feel the love of Christ, perhaps even your very own child. Homeschooling parents, do not go a day without asking to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit because you will most definitely require all the fruits that are available to claim because Lord knows the fighting will happen, the messes will be made, the power struggle is inevitable and tears will be shed by parent, child or both by the end of the day.
Romans 8:27 "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God."
Is that not just the sweetest and most thoughtful gift from the Father? When we do not know what to pray or how to continue on with our day or which direction to turn, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf.
When we forget, the Spirit reminds us. When we are lacking in wisdom, the Spirit is there to direct us, to shine light on the scripture and to teach us. What a precious gift, and what a shame if we do not claim this gift and call upon the power of the Holy Spirit the moment we rise every single morning.
"All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." —John 14:25-26
Recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is just a glimpse of the goodness that is to come.
2 Corinthians 5:5 "Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
I am not afraid to see the Holy Spirit work in my life. I am not afraid to to experience the ways in which it can change my path in life or step out when I feel that scary nudge to do something I am afraid to do. I want that abundant life, as much as the creek beds crave the flowing water. I want to continue to step out when I get that voice in my head telling me to send someone a message or to share what is on my heart. I want to stand up and step out when I feel my heart beating out of control from the feeling of being scared in my own flesh about looking like a fool or saying something that does not make sense.
The divine nature and creative details of God are marvelous and He wants you to know the fullness of everything He has to offer. Will you join me in diligently praying for our country, our families and our role in God's Kingdom as we are led by the Holy Spirit?
Have a great week friends!