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Wednesday: The Holy Spirit in the Believer’s Life — 12 Comments

  1. I have seen the work of the Holy Spirit. An elderly gentleman making a teenager feel welcome in church. A pastor finding the right words of comfort for a mother whose son has just tried to top himself while on drugs. A mother dealing patiently with an ADHD child.

    We often have this notion that the Holy Spirit does big visible things that make everyone sit up and notice. This drives much of the "speaking in tongues" movement. But, the most effective work of the Holy Spirit is the gentle interaction that is almost imperceptible.

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 KJV

    I remember a time when I was in deep trouble and the way forward was like staring at a blank wall. So, I visited a pastor, one of the best. He did not say much, but he listened. He took the cork out of the bottle of my pent-up feelings and emotions and let me talk it out. Then he prayed with me. I walked out of his office with the knowledge that I would be able to get through this. That was the work of the Holy Spirit.

    When we pray for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, do we even imagine that the evidence of his presence in our lives may be that we become good listeners?

    (63)
    • Yes. I have experienced this.

      Before I was born again, I used to interrupt people whenever I thought I had something to say. After I was born again, the Spirit would help me throw away my own thoughts and listen to them. Sometimes I would write ✍️ down a key word if I see a direction that would be helpful so that I can keep on listening. The Lord showed me that by listening, I would be able to understand most of the picture and where the people are coming from, which may be the problem itself. Then I look to God to see if He wants me to say anything. Sometimes He shows me what I could say, and sometimes He doesn't. I know my own thoughts may do more harm then good. I worked at perfecting this over the years, and I find myself listening more than speaking.

      (25)
  2. Grief is a powerful emotion very much connected with love.The Holy Spirit's emotions are not like ours which are tainted by sin.We must not follow our will,but we must give heed to His guidance so that we form a godly character.This shows that God cares so much about how we live.You grieve those who love you.The Holy Spirit Loves us.The relationship between The Holy Spirit and us is very important,He lives in us.God is affected by our actions,thoughts and words.

    (26)
  3. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:31–32

    Forgiveness is about feeling better (!) and is just a little choice we can make today, out of many others!

    "...but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered..." Romans 8:26

    Isn't that awesome? Someone groaning for you because He loves you that much? I never stopped to think about this kind of love!

    "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Galatians 5:17–18

    That means the Spirit frees us from condemnation!

    (14)
    • There certainly is, but the context of the passage is speech and this is why the lesson focused on that. Other passages focus on this in other ways.

      (5)
  4. I am just finishing up 4 days working in the kitchen at a minister’s retreat at our conference camp. I was sitting with one of the wives and her three young children on the large front porch swing. The little four-year-old girl cozied up next to me, and then looked up into my face and said, “Are you a good person?“

    That startled me. I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that before. I answered, “Well, Jesus is living in me, and he’s a good person, and a good God.“ I’m grateful that was the first thought that came out of me, but I’ll admit that I wondered why she felt the need to ask… It was a challenge to myself of whether I trust that the Holy Spirit is indeed living in me. And whether God’s goodness is clearly coming out of me.

    The Bible tells me that saying “yes” to Jesus and choosing to believe in His sacrifice and resurrection is to have the Spirit of Christ. Coming to that awareness and wanting to belong with Jesus and His Body is not something that happens from within ourselves, even if we were raised in that message.

    “You . . . are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Romans 8:9

    “You [my readers] . . . were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13–14).

    1 John 5:1: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.”

    Because I can see the beauty and perfection of Christ in the gospel story, and because I know God’s character as shown in the Bible and in nature to be for me more attractive and hope-filled than all the other teachings of this world….. that can be a proof to me that I have been raised from spiritual death and made alive by the Spirit of God. I want to hold onto God’s promises more than chase after my own intuition of what love is.

    And I pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that I am more joyful, peaceful, and free and bold in my witness to Christ. And according to Ephesians 5:18-20, also more ready and more eager to overflow with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and giving thanks to God. More like a child in simple faith…

    Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Matt. 18:3

    (10)
  5. The evidence of the Holy Spirit expressed in the believer’s life toward his fellow man shows me that he is willing to consider the other person as important as he does himself. Whatever the circumstances, whatever the interaction, the fundamental acknowledgement that we are brothers and sisters of each other in Christ leaves no room for abuse or neglect in any form.

    The Holy Spirit is given to us to elevate the circumstances of our lives and those we come in contact with. It is not outright ‘hate’ which we express through the old nature. Though showing our disinterest in our fellow man’s welfare by ‘disregarding’ him, we ‘discard’ his life and show our ‘hate’ toward him though he is part of God's creation - John 13:35.

    Is our advantage - being first, getting the best place at the table still most important to us? If so, it shows that we have yet to lay down our old, competitive nature and need to learn to accept the 'value' of the life of our fellow as we do our own – to love him as we want to be loved.

    Accepting to live by the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we rest in the assurance that this will give us a place at the ‘Table of Life’; no need to justle for position. If we still do, it shows that more learning needs to take place about how our inner being finds peace by trusting that our Salvation is assured as our life is found in Jesus Christ.

    (5)
  6. I believe that healing listening is one way of allowing the Holy Spirit works in the life of a depressed individual. Often times as a pastor, upon hearing the problems of my parishioners, I offer right away a solution believing to solve their problems but only to see a failure. Let the Spirit of God works in the heart!

    (8)
  7. How do you understand these sentences? "When believers disregard the indwelling presence of the Spirit by weaponizing God’s gift of speech, the Spirit is not said to leave but to grieve. The Spirit intends to remain present with believers, marking them as owned and protected by God, until Christ’s return."
    At first reading it appears to state that "weaponizing speech" has no bearing on one's salvation other than grieving the Holy Spirit. One will still be sealed until Christ's return.
    How does that read to someone whose children have been the recipient of that abuse of speech by a sealed believer and may have stepped away from the church as a result?

    (1)
    • I agree that the way the passage is written can be a bit misleading. However, I think the emphasis is on the persistence of the Holy Spirit in working for our salvation. That is an entirely separate issue to the abuse of children with harsh speech. The Bible makes it very clear that such action is wrong.

      But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matt 18:6

      (5)
    • We do not believe in "once saved - always saved," and I do not think the author believes that. He is not referencing the final "sealing" of the saints before Christ's return, but the believer's relationship with the Holy Spirit.

      It may help to think of this like a marriage relationship: A marriage is not annulled when one spouse gets angry with another. Hurt feelings and grief may ensue, but the relationship can be repaired again and again. A marriage is intended to be "durable," but it can be destroyed beyond repair by infidelity or abuse. In the same way, our relationship with the Holy Spirit can be eventually destroyed by failing to heed the Spirit's voice until we hear it no more. At that point, the "sin against the Holy Spirit" has been committed and the person is left without defense in the final judgment.

      Does that help at all?

      (6)

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