Relying on the Holy Spirit
04/27/17 12:10 PM Filed in: Christian Living
Relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, that’s what we are supposed to be doing as believers, right?
Yet, just what does that mean? Let me define “relying”
using a dictionary.Relying - depend on with full trust or confidence.
I’ve been thinking about this concept of relying on the Spirit lately along with some Scriptures that go along with this. Take the time to read the Scriptures below in light of my opening statement and allow me then to share some of the thoughts the Lord has been laying on my heart concerning relying on the Spirit.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the 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.” - John 16:13
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” - Romans 8:5
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” - Galatians 5:16-26
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and 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
The first thought that I have been pondering is the crazy, mind-blowing fact that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, God Himself, dwells within me eternally. How does anyone wrap one’s mind around that glorious truth?! It truly is impossible to do so!
Dwelling on the above truth has been leading me to think quite seriously about some other truths.
First off, there is the blessed truth that I have been freed from sin and no longer have to sin. I have been given the power to resist the temptations of this world.
What a blessing! Yet, a blessing that certainly carries serious responsibility. As believers, we can’t claim temptation beat us down to force us to sin, rather we chose to submit to sin.
Allow me to firmly reiterate, I don’t have to sin any more, I choose to sin.
How often do believers or even I talk about something we struggle with and we kind of shrug it off like we just can’t help it. Now, I am not advocating that believers are perfect, or that we won’t still struggle with certain sins. Sanctification is a life-long process. It’s hard and we are not going to reach perfection till we go home to Heaven.
Yet, as believers there should be a very serious outlook at sin, not a flippant outlook to it. In today’s culture, even among believers, sin is treated way too flippantly. It cost Jesus His very life to redeem us from it, let's take it seriously.
Since we have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us as believers, we should hate what God hates and love what God loves. So when it comes to sin, there should be this hardline attitude towards it. No compromise should be viewable in the believer’s life. We aren’t sinless as believers, but every day we should be growing toward sinning less.
Second mind-blowing thought, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” - John 15:15
As believers, we have the glorious privilege of knowing the truth and being able to discern the Scriptures!
Also, we know through Scripture, I am thinking of John 16:13 from the verses above, all this is made known to us by the Spirit.
This certainly doesn’t mean we know everything, we aren’t omnipotent, only God is, but I’d say there is a lot of wisdom and knowledge that we haven’t tapped into from the Word of God. Maybe this is just me personally, but I would say a lot of times it is because I am too busy to sit down and ask the Spirit and then take the time to listen to His voice through the Word and prayer.
So many biblical inaccuracies that are presented by believers simply are because they didn’t intensely study the Word and look to the Spirit for guidance and discernment.
We can be too quick to turn to commentaries or theologians or respected Christian’s online blog or website. Yes, we are blessed to have these great tools and access to all of this information, but I wonder sometimes how much do I really get my information directly from the Source? When was the last time I dug into the Scriptures to find out what the Word said on a tough topic instead of just reading several theologians’ thoughts?
Third point I have been thinking about, we should be different as believers. Each of us as believers has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, so our lives should be insanely, radically different than the lives of those in the world. We should have hearts that desire to honor God in every area of our lives and when certain behavior, words, or activities seem questionable we should be holding back from them.
When we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we surrendered all of our lives to Him. Surrendering all truly does mean everything. There is no area of my life that shouldn’t have been radicalized by Jesus and His love. I should stick out in this world like a white shirt in a crowd of black shirts. There should not be any blending in.
Finally, we are told in John 14:16-17 that the Holy Spirit has been given to dwell in us forever. Think about that term forever. Why then do I so often feel lonely, discouraged, downtrodden, frustrated and insecure? Am I really living in the reality of relying on the Holy Spirit on a day to day basis?
Recently when I have been feeling troubled, I have noticed a rather frightening trend. I know the truth, I could quote it verbatim to you, I know Whom to turn to, I know Whom to cry out to—I just chose not to, because…well, I don’t really have a good reason. It is simply a lack of applying the truth that I already know.
I go through all of the above to hone in on my application questions.
Where do I need His strength to rely on Him more? Where do I need His strength to apply truth that is unapplied in my life?
Where do I need His strength to tap into this glorious source of power directly from God, who indeed is God Himself, that I have access to? Where do I need His strength in leaning into the glorious blessing of having the Spirit of truth to reveal truth to me?
When I feel that loneliness and discouragement, where do I need His strength to cry out to the very One who is always there for me, who has been given to be with me forever?
Relying - depend on with full trust or confidence
Yes. That is exactly what I want to do. I earnestly desire to submit to the power of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work through my life. For I know that apart from Him, I can do nothing of eternal significance or of eternal value.
By God’s grace I want that 100% reliance on the Holy Spirit in my day to day life so I can truly live what Ephesians 4:1 calls “a life worthy of the calling we have received.”