Spirit, come. Fill my heart and let it overflow. I ask once more that you come, Holy Spirit! I need your guidance. I am lost without you. I can do nothing on my own, but yet I try to every moment of everyday. I ask that you soften my heart to allow you to move within me like never before. I desire to give up my selfishness and walk in accordance with you. I desire for your work to be done, not mine, but all I seem to do is mine! Forgive me Lord. Holy Spirit move in ways that are unfathomable and help me to recognize that it is all your doing, not some silly coincidence. Spirit protect me. Guide me in the path heading upward. Spirit, I desire for you to not just dwell in me, but for me to utilize you to the fullest; therefore, to nothing out of my selfish ambition and to be aware of what you are doing. Hear me God, please hear me. Continue to do a work in me, I know that it may be painful, but do a work in me. I desire to give you my whole heart, help me to do that and to watch your Spirit work.
Here’s some vulnerability (that I usually never let on to). That is one my prayers from earlier this week. Yep, one of my prayers from my journal, that I absolutely HATE sharing because it shows my weakness (ok make that weaknesses).
For the past month or so I had been in such a valley in my relationship with the Lord. The valley seemed so impossible to begin climbing out of. Every time I would try, I would fall right back in. But that was exactly the point, “I”, was trying to get out of the pit. I was not walking with the Spirit at all. I wasn’t just not walking with him, I wasn’t even allowing the Spirit to live within me. I was pushing him out of my heart daily and was competing for control. Well, that obviously turned out so nicely. Ok, so that was sarcasm, but in all honesty I look back and it really did. God heard me, as He always does, and answered my prayer in way that, once again, I was not expecting.
This week’s class was devoted to studying the book of Acts. I had read some of Acts before, but I had never read through the entire thing, let alone studied it. I knew that Peter and Paul were two major “dudes” in starting the church and spreading it to all nations, but that was exactly the problem. Peter and Paul were gifted men no doubt, but they are no god. The book of Acts is about spreading the gospel to the nations, but it is saturated in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We first see the Holy Spirit come about on the day of Pentecost. Jesus had ascended and then returned to reveal himself to the disciples, then when He went to up to sit at the right hand of the Father, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. And when I say the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, it didn’t just delicately knock. Oh no, “a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:2-4). Holy cow, what a VISION. I can’t even begin to fathom the power that came into the house, all I can fathom is the face I would have made had I seen it (not a pretty face). By the Holy Spirit coming, these men were then enabled to go out and preach the good news, and they did just that. However, THEY did not do it. The Holy Spirit did. The entire book of Acts goes through several journey’s in which men and women are converted, Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile, all because of the Holy Spirit’s work through the men who believed.
The guidance that the Spirit has is displayed beautifully throughout the book. There were times in which Paul wanted to travel to a specific area, but was lead to another because of the Spirit, salvation was offered to all, not just the Jew, it struck men dead who cursed it, and it moved in the hardest of hearts. Paul, the hardest of hearts was converted because of the power of the Holy Spirit. And when men and women came to know Christ, the Spirit came and dwelled within them. The same happens today, the people in Acts experienced the same Holy Spirit that we are blessed with today. Oh, the emotions that this brings up in my heart.
I can’t even begin to explain the gratefulness with in my soul when I think about the fact that the same, yes the SAME, Holy Spirit that empowered Paul to be one of the most passionate, bold, and loving followers of Christ, lives in me! This nearly brings me to tears thinking about the love from Above that is constantly poured out on me. But knowing this also brings about sadness within my heart. I have this same Spirit living inside of me since I accepted Christ, but I don’t utilize it. I have Niagara Falls at my disposal and I use a droplet coming from a broken faucet. This directly affects the way that I seek Christ and walk with the Spirit (or don’t).
Walking in accordance with the Spirit is one of the most difficult things for my heart to desire. I don’t know why, but it has always been! But that is no excuse! Especially after reading Acts. These men were no different than me, but they utilized the Spirit. They gave up of themselves and allowed the Spirit to guide in all areas of their lives. This has been a constant prayer of mine, and is even more so since studying Acts. The Spirit is the same, but it is my unfaithfulness that fights it. Reading about the power of the Spirit has placed a fire in my heart like never before. The Spirit made the impossible possible, it converted the unconvertible, the Spirit empowered the powerless, and it humble the most prideful. Oh how I need the Spirit. I can do nothing on my own, except fall. My prayer remains, that I can be softened to the work of the Spirit and to walk in accordance with it. Because I am no different than these men and the Spirit is the same, unchangeable. I pray that one of my greatest desires can be to let the Spirit work in my heart the way it did in those men. Not for selfish gain, but for the molding, chiseling, humility, brokenness, and to further of the good news.
While on his missionary journey’s Paul wrote letters to churches for encouragement, correcting, and how to stay strong in the faith. Paul’s first letter, was Galatians written to the area of Galatia. He wrote it because they were falling into their fleshly desires. Paul prays that we can live by the Spirit, to be sensitive to the Spirit. Oh the richness that this possesses. Lord, I pray that I can learn to walk with the Spirit.
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25