I need help! You need help! We all need help and that is why Christ, before He ascended, promised to send us the Comforter. Comforter means One who will come beside you and will be your Helper, your Counselor, your Teacher, your Guide and Enabler. What a gift is ours if we ask for it, open it and cooperate with it. (Luke 11:13.)
But are we experiencing Him as a living reality the way the early believers did? Without the Holy Spirit, we are like the disciples before Pentecost-sincere but struggling with confusion and defeat. Our Christian life is hopeless without the Holy Spirit's aid.
The early church provides the perfect illustration of that hopelessness. It was made up of simple men and women like you and me. The leaders were former fisherman and tax collectors who fled in fear when Jesus was arrested and needed them most. They weren't courageous and faithful. In fact, they lacked faith and courage.
Yet after they received and cooperated with the Holy Spirit these nobodies turned their community, and eventually the world, upside down. It wasn't a result of their seminary training; they didn't have any. They couldn't hand out copies of the New Testament; it hadn't been written yet. It wasn't because they were wealthy and had the greatest power point presentation at their meetings; they were poor people without a budget and without equipment.
But ONE thing they did possess was the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. For you and I it is a twofold dependence, where we uphold the word of God as the sole rule of our life, along with a childlike dependence and openness to the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can make the things of Christ real to His people. Only the Holy Spirit can show us our sin and our need for a Savior. "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and judgment." (John 16:8).
You see it is the Holy Spirit working inside of us that causes us to turn from our sin and fix our eyes on Jesus. The Holy Spirit wants to protect us. Knowing the word is not enough; we must know how to apply the word on and ongoing daily basis. Yielding our complete person to the governance of the Holy Spirit according to the word of God. These are the true worshipers of God, because they, "worship in spirit and truth."(John 4:23-24).
I want to be a true worshiper don't you? Knowing the truth is not enough. We must act out the truth in our everyday lives. This experience is pivotal to the restoration of God's image in each and every one of us. For example when we arise in the morning the Holy Spirit is there to remind us of our need of His empowerment. Do we choose to let Him in to empower us for the day, or do we check our e-mails, our Facebook or the news? God never forces Himself into our lives. He always stands at the door knocking, knocking, will we let Him abide within, and will we let Him be in charge? If not, we may still retain a knowledge of the truth-but No Power.
As we go about our day the Holy Spirit whispers in our ear, "Jim, don't share with this person the details of what has happened, they only have itching ears and wagging tongues." What do you do? Do you filter all through your Counselor? Or do you do as you please? My Counselor was trying to enable me. I cooperated and said, "because you're not part of the problem or the solution I see no reason to share any of the details with you, please pray for all involved." Praise God, His empowering became my empowerment. When He attempts to work His will in you, do you enable it or encumber it?
As I locked our door and was getting into my vehicle to leave for 3 days the thought came to me, "Jim, go back and check the toilet." I tried to reason it away as I started my vehicle but the thought kept coming back, "Jim, go back and check the toilet." I got out of my vehicle, went into the bathroom and discovered that the toilet was on continuous run. The plunger malfunctioned and didn't close off the water. If I would not have, "LISTENED and COOPERATED," the toilet would have been running for 3 full days. My Helper was helping me☺☺☺! When your Helper tries to help you, do you listen☺? Do you cooperate☺? Or do you dismiss it and manage your life yourself☹?
I was in my office and was impressed to go upstairs and get my cell phone. I dismissed the thought and told myself, I will get my cell phone later when I kiss my wife goodbye, just before I go into town. On my way into town the thought came to me, "Jim, where is your cell phone?" Oh no Lord, I forgot it. "No you didn't, I reminded you. You chose your way, your timing instead of my way and my timing." The promised Helper is always there, always guiding us, always convicting us, but do we LISTEN and COOPERATE? (Isaiah 30:21).
Submission is the key and cleaving is a must. I believe God speaks the loudest over food. Studies tell us that one third of the USA's population is obese and another one third is overweight, ouch, ooh, now you've gone to meddling. But isn't that the work of the Holy Spirit to meddle in our lives? Not really! He never really meddles He only wants to help. It's all in our perception and attitude towards being led. God speaks to me often at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't always like to hear what He has to say. But if I cooperate, even at age 63 and 160 pounds, I remain a respectable image of my creator. However, should I decide to have it, "My way," it becomes a weighty matter. So I have made a commitment to listen and to cooperate with my promised Helper. In so doing I receive the promised benefits and so will you.
This isn't complicated theology; this is allowing the Life Giver to guide our lives. God has given each of us a conscience and we can desensitize our conscience or allow it to be so sensitive that the lightest whisper of Jesus will move our souls. Which is it going to be for you? God wants to seal you with His Holy Spirit, but He can't if we are grieving his Holy Spirit on a daily basis. (Ephesians 4:30). We are counseled to have a conscience void of offense before God and man. (Acts 24:16). What is your conscience saying to you right now? That is your promised Helper working with you, to restore God's image in you.
May we all learn to worship God," in spirit and in truth." Worship is something we do every day, as we go about our day and as we complete our day by reflecting God's image according to His Word and Empowered by His Spirit.
Learning to listen & cooperate,
Jim & Sally