Walking with our God is an incredible adventure, isn’t it? I’ve learned to expect the unexpected! Journeying with Jesus is ripe with irony and heavenly realities that conflict with my human inclinations. Surrender equals Freedom. Deny myself in order to be truly content. To be fully alive in Christ is to die to the world.
How do we possibly live these out?
I’m sure there are many answers to that question. The answer I am carrying into 2018 is this: by living each day in close relationship with the Holy Spirit.
“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 14:26 emphasis added
When Jesus left us and made His ascension into heaven, He told us that we would receive the Holy Spirit who will teach us all things and help us remember everything we need to know. So wait a minute…let me think about this…muddle through on my own…or let the Holy Spirit be in charge of my daily life? Well, I’d like to take door number two, but I often fall into the trap of believing that I have to go it alone, that I “should be able to handle this” or I’m “supposed to know the answer.” Perhaps you’ve felt like that too?
Living Life in the Spirit
I got to know the Holy Spirit about 7 years ago when my parish offered a “Life in the Spirit” seminar. The 8 weeks of the seminar was a great time of fellowship, learning about the Holy Spirit and hearing stories of Him in action in people’s lives. It was very uplifting and showed me that there was this exciting and vast aspect of my faith that I had not yet personally experienced. I met people who were very alive in the Spirit and I was drawn to them. I wanted what they had!
Immediately following the Life in the Spirit seminar, the organizers began a weekly prayer meeting, which has been going strong ever since. I had never attended a regular prayer meeting before, and now found myself eager to get there each week. Fast forward seven years…
I wish I had the words to properly convey how my spiritual life has shifted over the past several years. One of the most profound discoveries has been this: The Holy Spirit lives within me. His residence is the human heart. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, therefore, is an internal exercise – not something that happens to me from the outside. Being filled with the Holy Spirit requires only that I open my heart and let Him out into my life!
I recently read these words, written by Father Dave Pivonka in his awesome book “Breath of God,” which really resonate with me:
“What we need more than anything else is God. This may sound odd or even harsh, but more than we need prayers answered, more than we need healing, we need God’s Spirit. This is just so foundational and fundamental to our faith. If we have a deeper relationship with the Spirit of Jesus, allowing his Spirit to animate our life, then this affects everything else. We will look at everything and respond to everything differently.“
I can say a hearty YES and testify that this has been my precise experience. The Spirit of God has slowly and steadily changed my heart, my mind, my priorities, my behavior, my relationships…everything. Like a most welcome breeze of fresh air, the Holy Spirit has breathed new life into every area: my marriage, my mothering, my ministry, my family relationships, my friendships. I am eager to allow Him to continue His work in 2018!
The Holy Spirit wants to take us on a journey that will change who we are and how we see the world and the people around us – for the better! He waits patiently for our consent to be led on such a journey, which can begin with a simple prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Father Dave writes: “That’s it. No long, complicated, or prolonged prayer, just “Come Holy Spirit.” If you were to do that ten times in one day, it would take roughly one minute. I imagine God will bless this prayer. He delights in sending His Spirit to us.”
Happy New Year and may the Spirit be with you!
Copyright 2018, De Yarrison