Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Holy Spirit's Activity In Your Life

The Holy Spirit is active in the believer's day to day life by imparting wisdom, discernment, ability and empowerment. The writer James says that if we desire wisdom all we need do is ask for it, but we must ask with the commitment that we will apply what God gives us. We know that when we pray in alignment with the Lord Jesus' will and in the complete surrender to His indwelling presence, He will give what is being asked for. In Acts 15 this is what the council did, together with the whole church, and made a decision once "It seemed good to the Spirit, and to us."

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” James 1:2-8

If you are that kind of person, you can't make up your mind, and keep all your options open, you surely can't be trusted. So don't expect the Lord to give you anything at all.

1) A prerequisite for receiving God's direction and guidance is being committed to doing whatever God wants you to do.
★ You must share God's outlook and adopt His priorities.

★ You must will God's will….choosing it deliberately by an act of your own will. To accept His will even though it may conflict with your personal longing.

God will not give direction until you are ready to receive it. When you are ready, God will show you. Believe that God knows what He wants for you and for your family to do. Breakthroughs happen for people who believe God

2) Sometimes God will often first speak to you directly from His word because, remember, as part of your spiritual growth you are both proactively getting into the Bible every day, and you are depending on God to give you what you need from His word.

Biblical wisdom is taking scriptural principles and applying them to what's going on in your life. Biblical knowledge is not useful for spiritual growth unless it is applied. Most of the world’s tope leading Biblical scholars today are not even Christians. They are simply scholars. Only biblical wisdom fosters spiritual growth.

3) Already be in prayer to sense the Spirit's words to your heart. Whereas it is useful to ask for advice, think about it, write pros and cons lists, work your circumstances, see if you can find people to help you; what you need to do first is to get quiet with God to ask Him for guidance. Throughout scripture God promises to guide you, so believe that and pray for God's direction

4) God may cause circumstances to reveal His will – such as an invitation that you didn't generate, to serve God in some way; or maybe a job offer, or the chance to do something, or move somewhere, or be with a certain person. Sometimes a piece of important information comes your way at just the right time. As you pray through each step, see if the logistics work out for you

5) If God invites you with circumstances, He will give you confirmation through Scripture, His spoken word. If God invites you through His word, He will give you confirmation through your circumstances, and always be speaking to you through the inward testimony of His Spirit.

Right after there will often come some testing, either doubts or trouble of some kind, that will rattle you. Then you must go back to the process and the circumstances that proved the settling of God's will in order not to be moved away from the direction God has shown you.

You must trust God. Why do doubts and misgivings arise in our heart about His guidance? We often question our own capacity to interpret guidance.

This fear can be perplexing. How can you be sure you are being led by God and not mislead by your own desires? If you can be sure it's God's will, you will make any decision however much others might misunderstand or criticize you or whatever hardships you might be called on to face. But how can you be sure? Do the best you can with what you have, trusting that the Holy Spirit is real, He is able to speak to you in a way that you understand, and He is able to course correct at any given time.

Then move forward without looking back once your decision is made. Because we believe in God's sovereignty, we don't worry about maybe not getting it right. Instead we have confident faith that He's going to make sure we know how to get it right, and even more, that He's going to empower us to do it right.

[Those who speak of "practicing the presence of God" have this kind of relationship with God, through His Spirit, where every aspect of the day is saturated with this kind of guidance, an organic conversation where every decision, every word and every action is consciously made in partnership with God through His Spirit's presence in one's heart and mind, and tangibly present in one's body.]

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation


  1. Your JAMES quote connected with what I was thinking earlier today. Scientific-minded folks have just started studying prayer in a scientific way. But their approach is still a bit childish. For example the question in the surveyed situations was "did prayer help?" I hope more scientific, discerning studies can be done in the future that catagorize prayer as believing prayer in some way as opposed to prayer that is only an acknowledgement of our creature-ness and a fufilling of what we think we are supposed to do as christians. I hope you prosper as your soul, too, doth prosper. Thanks for your thoughtful words of faith.

  2. Thanks Rethinking. I agree, the scientific method, though it has a lot going for it, can miss the most important thing if the scientist doesn't understand what s/he is studying.

    I think scientists do get that there is something to prayer, but because they discount the existence of God and therefore His supernatural power, and relationship with His people, they have to rely merely upon the power of positive thinking.

    It would be interesting how scientists might make room for the supernatural in their exploration!

    Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ, and His joy as you follow Him


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