Intimate Relationship with the Holy Spiritby Susan Nero
Our devotionals are described as being centered on pictures of the intimate relationship described in scripture of God and His children, Christ and His church and how these pictures encourages us.
I couldn't think of any picture that more encouraged me and that of the blessings available to me by the indwelling Holy Spirit. I want to devote the time to remember and concentrate on just one aspect of the Holy Spirit's work available to each one of us. That of his provisions to us as communicator.
I knew and believed that I could call Him Whenever I was confronted with emergencies, like being diagnosed with cancer or experiencing the death of a parent. the Lord had always been there for me! Always!
It was the walking in the spirit every day that I just couldn't quite get.
No wonder I often related to Peter first "walking on the waves and then sinking in the water".
So, I began praying and asking the Holy Spirit to encourage me and fill me with His presence, my first answer was that I would have to make myself available to listen, I did, and He has put it on my Heart to share some of the encouragement that He blessed me with.
I have prayed and continue to pray that you will Hear His voice and not my observations in Jesus' name.
When we excepted Christ as our Savior, the sin (guilt) that separated us from God is removed so we are immediately in a new and living relationship with each of the three persons of the Trinity.
1. God the father becomes my Father.
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name"
So we know He is our Father, but like the disciples we have difficulty on occasion feeling comfortable "talking" to Him.
2. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we immediately come into a new relationship with God the Son. We are now in Christ. In the book of Ephesians we are told many times that When we accept Christ as our Savior "we are in Christ". In Romans 7:4 we are told that Christ is our bridegroom and we are the bride and in John 15, we are told that Christ is the vine and we are the branches and I told to abide in Him relationally.
3. the Bible also promises us that When we are saved (justified/forgiven) we are also immediately in-dwelt by the 3rd Person of the Trinity; the Holy Spirit (or Spirit of God).
Salvation is Unity!
Justification: Deals with our sin and guilt (Salvation).
We must see, acknowledge and act on the fact we cannot save ourselves.
Sanctification: deals with the power of sin in our lives as Christians (The Holy Spirit working in us).
We must acknowledge and act on the fact we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength or in our own goodness.
There's only one difference between the two, justification is one decision for all time, sanctification and living the Christian life is our decision made moment by moment.
Our Christian walk is hopeless without the Holy Spirit living in us.
Before we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit was with us in the respect of His being the one who draws us close to God and convicts us of sin. When we accept Jesus then the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us. He is the one who gives us new life and a new godly nature. We gain a new perspective; we have new thoughts. The trouble is we still have a lot of baggage we carry with us in this new life; stuff we still hold onto from our old life or nature and this leads to that walk like Peter exhibited when he walked out on the water to meet Jesus and sunk in it when he looked at his circumstances.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer, I AM! Do not fear. And Peter answered Him and said, LORD, if it is You, tell me to come to You on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing that the wind was strong, he was afraid. And beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him; and said to him, Little-faith! Why did you doubt? And when they had come into the boat, the wind ceased.
When Peter walked out to Jesus he really was walking in the Spirit and then he looked around at the circumstances like we do when we react to old fears, anxieties, old feelings of inadequacy... both Peter and I then call out "Lord save me".
And what did Jesus do? He stretched out His hand and caught Peter and said "O you of little faith why did you doubt?"
Isn't this what Jesus says to us? When we look around in fear and our circumstances? Could He have given us a greater gift than that of the Helper living in us forever?
In John 14:16-23 Jesus said "I will pray the Father and He Shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever and He said let not your heart be troubled and neither let it be afraid.
Jesus said this to his disciples just prior to His death, resurrection and ascension.
"I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide in you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not nor knows him; but you know Him for He dwells with you and Shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you, A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me, because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, I in you. He who has My Commandments and keeps them it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
Judas, (not Iscariot) said to Him "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us and not the world?" Jesus answered and said to him "if anyone loves Me he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word what you hear is Not Mine but the Father who sent Me."
Verse 26... "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said do you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, " I am going away and coming back to you"
"Now I am going to Him who sent me...because I have said this you, are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you........."
Verse 12: "I have much more to say to you more than you can now bear. But when He the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you."
"My prayer is not for them (disciples) alone. I pray also for those who believe in Me through their message, that all of them maybe one. Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You may also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent Me. I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they may be one as We are one. I am them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." John 20:19
Then the same day that evening, being the first of the week, when the doors are shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them "Peace be with you." When He had said this He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when I saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again "Peace to you" And when He had said this He breathed on them and said to them "Receive the Holy Spirit"
In John 14:16,17 Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them as a Helper. He told them, "He dwells with you and will be in you." So the Holy Spirit had already been with them, but Jesus said that in the future "He would be In them" as He is everywhere. Now the Holy Spirit came into them as Jesus breathed on them. This was their spiritual birth as they experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And on the day of Pentecost, as the Holy Spirit would be poured out on them they would experience the power that comes on a believer for service.
If you have never before accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, The Holy Spirit is with you. He is the one who draws you to God and convicts you of sin. If you have accepted Jesus, then the Holy Spirit is inside you. He wants to come upon you as well, to give you the power to live the Christian life, and to serve Him in a fruitful way. Don't stop short of all that God has for you. Ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon you and to stay upon you moment by moment.
To "Be Filled" with the Holy Spirit doesn't mean that it is a matter of my acquiring more of Him, but rather of the Holy Spirit acquiring all of me.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we will no longer be controlled or governed by self but by the Holy Spirit. So we can see that we become filled when we are fully yielded to Him or how we are being filled moment by moment depends upon just how many moments we surrender to His control.
In Ephesians 5, Paul is speaking to the Ephesian church about their Christian walk; he talks about walking in love, walking in the light and finally walking in wisdom.
"Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but "Be Filled With the Spirit"
Both drunk and spiritual people are controlled people...that is they are both under the influence of liquor or the Holy Spirit and act accordingly. It doesn't have to be wine, but anything we search for to provide some relief from the stress, pressures and pain of life. We know if we commit our "problems" to the Lord, they are taken care of.
Paul said,"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Jesus said, "Without Me you can do nothing" "The abundant life is a Spirit filled life"
If we try to live the Christian life in our own strength we will fail, but if we walk/live in the Holy Spirit we will not only serve the Lord we will exhibit the fruit and then be a witness to those who don't know Him.
The "how" of the Christian life is the power of the crucified risen Lord through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit by faith moment by moment. The Bible tells us; "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2) This applies asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This does not necessarily mean that God does not desire to give to us..... If we missed out, it's because we didn't have the faith, time, or knowledge of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to work in our lives.
Both God and man desire that personal intimate relationship with each other. For His part, God has gifted us with the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and provide that perfect means of communication. Man's purpose is to love God with all his heart, with all his soul with all his mind. And this loving should not be vague, or religious but a personal loving relationship and a genuine communication with Him.
Francis Schaeffer described our relationship with the Holy Spirit this way: "The finite person, thinking, acting, and feeling, being in relationship with the infinite personal God and therefore making communication possible".
2nd Timothy was written by Paul from his Roman prison cell. He knew his death was imminent, he wanted to give some last minute instructions to his young protégé Timothy. It was his last recorded words and was the most personal communication from Paul in any of his other books. When you know your time is short you have a tendency to boil everything down to what matters most and that is what Paul did here!
Paul wrote to Timothy:
"For this reason I reminded you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you...." "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline." 2nd Timothy1:6-7
Timothy was to give attention to The Holy Spirit's work in him. He evidently was experiencing difficulties in his walk, maybe some doubt, feelings of inadequacy. Obviously there was a problem. Paul showed his love and concern for Timothy by writing this encouraging counsel to him.
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit empowered men and women to accomplish God's work; however, The Spirit of God would come on people and then leave them.
God's Spirit departed from King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14;18:12) And then David confessing his sin, asked that the Holy Spirit not be taken from him. ( Psalm 51:11 )
When the Holy Spirit was given that Pentecost, He was and is given to God's people to remain with them forever. Even though it is possible to grieve the Spirit, He will not leave us. We are not alone, abandoned, helpless, or hopeless. Wherever we go the Spirit is with us. There's no need to have a troubled heart when we have the Holy Spirit of God living within us.
A closing prayer:
Paul prayed for the Ephesians that He (God) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith: that you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-to know the love of Jesus Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19