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Do You Recognize When the Holy Spirit is Moving in Your Life?July 18, 2022
The local news leads off with murder and violent crime reports. The saying is, “If it bleeds, it leads!” The national news, with its 24-hour news cycle, continually focuses on the negative impact of everything that changes. Then when they have nothing else to report it is a constant flow of predictions and opinions all designed to entertain and scare us like a good horror movie. It can easily depress the most hopeful of us.
It reminds me of the old “Hee-Haw” chant, “Gloom, despair and agony on me, deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me!” I sense that this depression of the media news has spilled over into many folk’s personal lives. So many people seem down or even depressed.
We must never forget there is a power in the world that can bring real power and real hope into the deepest darkness of our lives, into the most hopeless situations. That is the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Consider how hopeless the world looked after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Judas hanged himself. Peter hated himself. The rest of the disciples hide themselves in fear, and some left town. They must have wondered, “The Messiah? Who worships a dead messiah? Three years wasted, and the world is going to Hades.” After the resurrected Lord encountered those beaten, frightened disciples, they were full of joy, and wanted to tell the world.
What did Jesus say? “Wait!” That is right, Jesus said, “Wait. Wait for real power – power to change the world” (Luke 24:49). And they go back to Jerusalem and they obediently wait for that power – the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–13, The story of Pentecost). I believe the joy of seeing the risen Lord would have been overwhelmed by the world without a power greater than themselves. How often do we begin a project with great energy and expectation, certain we will succeed, and then have our expectations beat out of us by the challenges of life? It was the power of God’s spirit that allowed those disciples to remain faithful when they were persecuted and died martyr’s deaths.
Perhaps you are wondering if you can tap into this power the disciples had which enabled them to share the gospel with the world. First, the Holy Spirit is not “the Force”, like in Star Wars, that we tap into. Second, yes we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we learn to humbly submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
Christians speak of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, but what do you know about the person and work of the Holy Spirit? Are you like most Christians who point to the work of the Holy Spirit as anything we can’t explain any other way. Or do you recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in your midst. Do you know that the Spirit moved to cause creation (Genesis1:1–2)? Do you know that the Spirit moves within us when we are saved (John 3:3)? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to sanctify you, that is help you to grow deeper in your faith journey (Romans 6:1–11)? Do you know what spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given you and how to use them to do the great works of ministry to build up the church like those early disciples did (I Corinthians 12–14)? Have you seen the work of the Spirit keep the fellowship strong at your church (Ephesians 4:4, 15–16)?
If you were a bit mystified by the above paragraph because you have not thought that much about the Holy Spirit maybe this is a good summer to do some reading. I can think of no better book to get started learning about the person and work of the Holy Spirit than Gateways to Empowered Ministry by Brad Long. You can also learn a lot more at the website, prmi.org.
Do you watch too much TV or listen to too much news radio? Could that time be better spent reading the Bible, praying, or learning about the Holy Spirit? Has God called you to serve Him in some way, but you have gotten worn out and quit? Is it time to stop trusting in your own abilities and turn to God’s Spirit for strength, wisdom, and courage? I hope you will meet the third person of the Trinity and learn to pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” Expect God’s spirit to come into your life and give you power. (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org).