Hi everyone, Rob here. Sunday was Pentecost Sunday; the day we celebrate the pouring out of the Holy Spirit into our lives. Acts 2:32-34 says, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear…Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Later in verses 38-39 Peter says this: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
The Holy Spirit is a gift from Jesus, to bear witness to Jesus, to help us be more like Jesus, to know the life of Jesus in us and to share in his relationship with the Father. Is that amazing or what! The simple act of placing our faith in Jesus our King leads to us being equipped with every divine resource that Jesus had. We can now live the same Spirit-led life that Jesus would lead if he were us (to paraphrase the late Dallas Willard).
This leads me to the question of why my life seems so ordinary then, compared to the life of Jesus? Where are the miracles? Where are the deeply offended Pharisees? Where are the people dropping everything to follow Jesus? At a personal level I ask, where is the clarity? Where is the intimate connection with my Father? Where is my profound holiness? Instead of these things I often see confusion about what I’m meant to be doing; feel a distance between me and God; have busyness without deep purpose; and forget that the Spirit dwells in me and is the strength of my life.
But the Apostle Paul gave me a helpful reminder this morning in Galatians 5:16-18 (Message version); “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?”
The battle rages within us and every day we face the choice once again; will we live from who we truly are – children of God, friends of Jesus, disciples sealed for Christ by the Holy Spirit? Or will we listen to the voices trying to drag us back into our old life – living for self, in our own strength, down and out in a fallen world? So, for today I choose life! I choose the way of the Spirit. I choose to surrender my life and my will over to God so that the Spirit can lead me and fill me with the life of Christ in me. I choose to believe that my life and your life is far from ordinary when we are “animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.” So join me in choosing the life of the Spirit today and may we give glory to Jesus through all we do and say in his name. Pray with me this excerpt from John Eldredge’s Daily Prayer.
“Holy Spirit, thank you for coming. I love you, I worship you, I trust you. I sincerely receive you and all the work and victory in Pentecost, through which you have come, you have clothed me with power from on high, sealed me in Christ. You have become my union with the Father and the Son, become the Spirit of truth in me, the life of God in me, my Counsellor, Comforter, Strength and Guide. I honour you as my Sovereign, and I yield every dimension of my life to you and you alone, to be filled with you, to walk in step with you in all things. Fill me afresh. restore my union with the Father and the Son. Lead me in all truth, anoint me for all of my life and walk and calling, and lead me deeper into Jesus today. I receive you with thanks and I give you total claim over my life.” Amen.