The Holy Spirit not only sovereignly assigns Spiritual gifts to each Believer, but also empowers their use by providing the strength, skill, and means to exercise them. So you may ask yourself, “But I don’t know what my Spiritual gifts are.” It’s pretty simple. What areas are you talented in and what are you passionate about? Your gifts will always follow along those avenues. But more importantly, your Spiritual gifts are not for your personal edification alone…they were given to you to build up the body of Christ – the Church – as works of service for others.
The early Church was comfortable in Jerusalem. They were one big happy family – united in loving God and one another. But then persecution broke out against them after the stoning of Stephen, and they were forced to scatter. Would the Church have ventured out on their own to spread the Gospel if it hadn’t been for this persecution? Was this possibly the Lord’s way of saying, “I’ve given you the Great Commission, now go do it!” For the most part, Believers today are just as comfortable in our square box Churches…we’re one big happy family, loving God and each other. But we rarely go outside the walls, and never think about venturing to unknown places with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We’re basically too comfy to care. But the same Great Commission applies to us… the same command to proclaim the Gospel Message to a lost and dying world pertains to us too. And it may take the same kind of persecution of the Church to get us off our backsides.
Jesus told His disciples in John 14:26 that after He left them His Father would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in His place…”and the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot began to fathom the mysteries of God’s Word. But with the Holy Spirit’s help we can become enlightened, and with that wisdom is given and Spiritual truth revealed.
“Following the Word of the Lord…” Though sometimes, that still small voice of the Holy Spirit is almost drowned out by the incessant noise of the world. Romans 8:14 tells us that, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” But following the Word of the Lord takes practice… it takes listening carefully, and obeying immediately when prompted, without hesitation…for when we stop to debate if it’s of God or not, we’ll usually not move on it…and His work stops there. By attuning our ears to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit, we are being led down the correct path of life and accomplishing God’s work for His glory.
The Holy Spirit is there as an intermediary when the words won’t come. It might be devastating news from a friend, or maybe it’s a bad report from the Doctor we’ve just received …either way, we sit numb and silent before God. It’s during those times of infirmity of the body and soul that the Holy Spirit intervenes, imparting the knowledge of divine truth on our behalf. For we may not have the words to pray…but He does.
The Holy Spirit is God’s pledge, providing Believers with the assurance of eternal life. In legal terms, the Holy Spirit is like a down payment or earnest money that secures a claim to something…like when we’re buying a car or a house. For when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within…thus sealing us for eternity through the redemptive work of the Lord.
Our mind is a battlefield. Our new nature under Christ Jesus is ever struggling with our comfortable old nature. Romans 8:4 tells us not to live according to our sinful nature…but that’s easier said than done when our old self keeps tugging us back to what’s easy, and familiar. But that’s when we need to memorize I John 4:4 and recite it out loud…” the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” The Holy Spirit indwelling within you is mightier than the devil…and more powerful than anything you are battling today. For it tells us to resist the devil and he must flee. So when your old and new self are clashing, look to the Lord for strength and victory.
We’ve all been there. That deep moan of grief or pain escapes our lips…but that’s all. No words are spoken…because there are no words. Our mind is a confusing jumble of our frail mortal condition. That’s when the Holy Spirit can express for us the unutterable, inexpressible words we can’t find. And that’s when the Holy Spirit can step in and make intercession for us according to the Will of God. (Romans 8:27) The indwelling Holy Spirit is always there to pray…when we can’t.
We can’t save ourselves. Nor can we lead a totally blameless and holy life without the help of the Holy Spirit. For it reminds us in Philippians 1:6, “That He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit is ever at work, confirming in you the goals and objectives set before you…until that day the ultimate plan and purpose of your life is fulfilled in you through Christ Jesus. We can’t do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke of this as He called the first disciples in Matthew 4:19, when He said to them, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The Greek word for “make” here means that Jesus would actually be doing the work…causing and enabling those fishermen to seek and draw out the lost around them. And we now have the Holy Spirit to do that work in us…inspiring, strengthening, and giving us confidence.
Initially, no one may have known Jesus was in town. But people sensed something different happening…there was an awareness and feeling of hope and anticipation in the air…and they came searching for the source. For the presence of Jesus could not be hidden. Just as the indwelling Holy Spirit can not be hidden in us…it must be allowed to shine forth. As it tells us in Matthew 5:14-16, ” You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Allow that light from within you to shine like a beacon for the lost and searching world.