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Monday, January 10, 2011

Enabled through the Holy Spirit

15-17"If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you. I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! (John 14:15-17)

Yesterday, we learned about the calling of Jeremiah - a calling to a nation in danger of captivity, split by their sinful pride.  As we reviewed his calling, we were reminded of the promise that those whom God calls, he also equips or enables to do the work they are called to do.  One of the various ways we are "equipped" is with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The Spirit of Truth in our lives is resident with us as a result of our inviting Christ into our lives as our Savior.  

What does it mean to have the Spirit of God resident within us?  How does this equip us for the calling on our lives?  From this passage we see:
  • We never walk alone - we always have someone with us.  The Spirit of Truth walks where we walk, there with us each step of the way.  No path we take is without his careful attention.
  • We are enabled to love God - where the Spirit of God dwells, there is a love for the Father that is deeply rooted in heartfelt service to him.  
  • We have his presence with us enabling us to keep his commandments - no steps of obedience are harder than those attempted without his guidance and care.
If we examine another portion of scripture, we find that the Holy Spirit resident within us also produces the evidence of a life change.  We hear this referred to as the "fruit of the Spirit".  Galations 5:22-23 tell us, "But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."

Break that down:
  • Affection for others - the ability to look outside of ourselves and see the needs of those around us.
  • Exuberance about life - eagerness to live, no hesitation in our walk, freedom to embrace life.
  • Serenity - the ability to keep our cool, peacefulness, composure even in dark or intimidating circumstances.
  • A willingness to stick with things - we call this commitment - the attitude and drive to complete what we begin, regardless of the cost.
  • A sense of compassion in the heart - moved by the needs of those around us to the point that there is action behind the recognition of that need.
  • A conviction that a basic holiness permeates things/people
  • Loyal commitments - this work of the Holy Spirit in our lives gives us focus, keeping us on track with Christ, and centers our every movement on him.
  • Not needing to force our way in life - where the Spirit of God is, there is a freedom to enter, the very words to speak when we are asked to give an accounting, and an open door.
  • Sufficient energies for life's challenges - no excuses for us - the energies we need for the journey ahead have already been provided.
  • Wise use of our energies - along with the energies for the task at hand comes the ability to choose wisely how to devote our time, talent and energies.
As you can see, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is indeed an enabling presence.  Those called are enabled - not halfway, but entirely.  There is sufficiency in all God does, all he provides, and all he prepares us for.  The next time you want to talk God out of "calling" you, you might want to consider just how much he does to provide all you will need for that calling.  The cost of rejecting his calling is sometimes catastrophic!