Last night as they were leaving our Bible Study, a couple told me that they were responding to a call from a friend who just notified them of a death in family. As they explained the need they were facing, I was glad that I could encourage them to go and be ‘Jesus’ to that friend, letting the Spirit do what He can do as they became useful to Him. Pastor or carpenter, homemaker, lawyer, plumber, or teacher – we are all called to do spiritual work and gifted by the Spirit for that work!
It’s been my privilege to serve God in His Church for 4 decades. After all this time and experience I still feel awed and joyful that God lets me participate in the process of shaping lives. I look in the mirror some mornings and wonder if I am up to the task of presenting the Scripture, of speaking to others in a way that turns their hearts to higher things. And I remember it’s not “Jerry” but Jesus! It isn’t my skills, personality, or programs I design that makes followers of our King. God, the Holy Spirit, works in me and, I pray, through me to do the impossible.
Paul was inspired to teach us about God’s amazing gifts. “What I want to talk about now is the various ways God’s Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. … God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. … Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!” (1 Corinthians 12:1,4,7, The Message)
The only hope any one has in pleasing God is to become Spirit-led, people who accept His ability, respond to His guidance, and rely on Him implicitly. Jesus, speaking to his disciples at the Last Supper, said: “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7, NIV) The Holy Spirit is now the active member of the Godhead in our lives. He is our “Comforter, Friend, Counselor, Advocate, and Helper.” The word Jesus used to name the Spirit – Parakletos – was one used to describe a person who came to your side to plead your case to another. A Paraclete was a friend, coach, and advocate!
What impossibility are you facing today? Who is so broken that you have no words? Who is mired deeply in sin and/or dysfunction so that you could conclude they are beyond redemption? Remember, God, the Spirit, is our Source, our Wisdom, our Power. He is ‘on call’ 24/7! And, when we made alive in Christ, we also know that He, the Holy Spirit, is not just be with us; He lives in us! “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17, NIV)
Are you attempting to live the Christian life only by your wits and wisdom, by grit and guts, by resolve and rationale?
It is important that we determine to serve God’s purposes, that we are courageous, that we take up the challenge of serving God with the best we can offer. We must set goals and to align our lives to the principles of the Scripture. However, if we are solely focused on our abilities and resources – if we think we can do spiritual work with natural talents or abilities – we are destined to be ineffective, frustrated, and failing.
Today, invite God to take the lead, to show you just how He can take your unique experiences, your personality, your situation and make you an effective ambassador of His kingdom: in your home, your school, your place of work, your extended family, and in your church. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you, to renew you. You are a Gifted Child of God.
Here is a word from the Word. Let it challenge and enthuse you. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NLT) “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25, NIV)
Spirit Of God Descend Upon My Heart
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart.
Wean it from earth, thro’ all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness mighty as Thou art
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.
Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love;
One holy passion filling all my frame.
The baptism of the heav’n descended Dove;
My heart an altar and Thy love the flame!
Frederick Cook Atkinson | George Croly © Words: Public Domain