"Many people feel so pressured by the expectations of others that it causes them to be frustrated, miserable and confused about what they should do. But there is a way to live a simple, joy-filled, peaceful life, and the key is learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit, not the traditions or expectations of man."
Welcome back to my blog and thanks again for allowing me to share my thoughts and experiences with you! It's been a few months since we last spoke, but I'm back and I'm going to pick right up where we left off. I mentioned to you in Part 1 of Hear. See. Move. about the day my life completely changed forever—the time I was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Now, before I go on, let me apologize in advance for all the misconceptions and just plain, wrong teaching that you've ever heard about the Holy Spirit. I often find that because of the religious traditions of some churches and humanistic, erroneous thinking, many Believers reject the person of the Holy Spirit and His work in their lives. They don't understand Him and have seen others misrepresent His power. But we can't allow our awkward, "spooky" or bad church experiences to stifle us and cancel out the relationship God desires for us to have with Him. So can we make a deal? Let's see what the Word of God has to say about the Holy Spirit. Let's only get our definition of who God's Spirit is and what He does straight from the mouth of God.
Before I tell you about my first encounter with the Holy Spirit (that I know of), l want to show you 10 mentions of the Spirit of God that I've found in the Bible from which we can pull some truths to apply to our lives:
1. If I'm supposed to be a follower of Jesus, doing what He did, and HE was filled with the Spirit, I as a Believer am also supposed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It's what God wants for me.
“Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,” ??Luke? ?4:1? ?NLT??
2. The Holy Spirit is my guide in this life. He existed before me and has been to the end of my life, so He will always keep me a step ahead so that I can avoid pitfalls. He helps me to stay away from sin. Without Him, I can't do it.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians? ?5:16? ?NLT??
3. The Holy Spirit gives me power and enables me (gives me boldness I wouldn't have on my own) to tell everyone about Jesus.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts of the Apostles? ?1:8? ?NLT??
4. To experience the Kingdom of God and be apart of the way God does things (which is why you and I got saved, by the way...we wanted God to take over instead of us ruling our own lives), I can only find that in the Holy Spirit. In the Spirit, I'll have goodness, peace and joy.
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans? ?14:17? ?NLT??
5. Initially, we don’t think like God. We have to learn how to. So, we often don’t even know what we need to be praying for. No worries, though! The Holy Spirit will pray through us in heavenly words we may not understand.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” ??Romans? ?8:26? ?NLT?? image
6. There are some things only found in the Holy Spirit. If I'm not filled with Him, I won't be able to see these good things consistently in my life.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." ??Galatians? ?5:22? ?NLT??
7. The Holy Spirit matures me and makes me holy (more like God) every day.
“God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.” ??1 Peter? ?1:2? ?NLT??
8. If I want to know real truth and keep from being deceived by the devil, I need the Holy Spirit. He will show me. He's always with me.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate [Comforter/Encourager], who will never leave you." He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John? ?14:16-17? ?NLT??
9. Life is supposed to be different from when I didn't know Jesus. This new life can only be lived through the Holy Spirit.
“he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” ??Titus? ?3:5? ?NLT??
10. A Christian will never live the life Jesus died to give him without the Holy Spirit's help. The Father will freely give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks Him.
“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”” ??Luke? ?11:13? ?NLT?
After reading all that, I've come to this conclusion. As Christians, we NEED the Holy Spirit. And since God has so much to say about Him, it's our responsibility to find out everything we can about Him.
Now, I hear your cry already. You're saying, "But the Holy Spirit is weird! I don't know about all that speaking in tongues and everything else that comes with Him!" Well, to you I say, get over it! (And I mean that in the kindest way.) Praying in the Spirit isn't anything different from you hearing someone speak Chinese when all you understand is English. It may sound ridiculous to you and you have no idea what they are saying, but you're not freaked out because you know they are just speaking a language that they learned or that is their native tongue. In the same way, don't overthink praying in the Spirit. Did you forget? You're not initially from here. You're from Heaven. This heavenly language is foreign to your earthly mind, but not your spirit. And YOUR spiritual language is inside of you just waiting to be awakened when you decide to yield. By the way, when you see how much praying in the Spirit helps you and changes your life for the better, looking and sounding foolish will be the last thing on your mind. You won't care what anyone thinks because you understand that this is who you were meant to be.
Trust me, I'm not being insensitive and I absolutely feel you. First, you must remember that the life of a Christian is supernatural (not NORMAL or NATURAL). And it's lived by faith. So, you may not understand everything God has for you, but understanding will come if you will just first receive. Open your heart to God and everything that He is. Don't have a limited experience. I've just learned to say, "If God says it's for me, then I'm just going to believe it, over my doubts and fears." Plus, after all that scripture we just read, there's no denying that having the Holy Spirit and experiencing His power in our lives IS God's will for you and me.
I honestly don't get what the big deal is. We long to believe in the supernatural. You see it in the movies we flock to, filled with super heroes who have extraordinary powers. Some people even seek out psychics, stay tuned to the daily horoscopes, and various other conduits to give themselves direction and vision for their lives. So, if you, as a Believer, have faith in the power of a God you can't see to save you from hell and grant to you eternal life with Him forever, why won't you use the same faith to believe in the REAL, living Spirit, sent by God to SUPERNATURALLY help us in life and to share with us God's specifics thoughts and desires concerning our lives?
Okay, okay...so you want to know my story? Here it is. I got filled with the Holy Spirit when I was 9 years old. I asked God to fill me with His Spirit and He did. Simple. What did I feel? Well, I just felt the presence of God all around me as a warm sensation in my body (you may have a different experience, which is just fine). I began to cry and I spoke a few words in the Spirit (which sounded like an interesting set of syllables). But I noticeably felt more ALIVE than I ever had in my life. As the years went on, I learned how to develop a relationship with God's Spirit and my prayer language became more fluent. It became more personal—He was a real person, though invisible to my eye, but very evident in the day to day details of my life. I felt His strength in times when I should have been weak...His joy when I should have been incredibly sad because of circumstances. His power was working in me and I KNEW it.
Currently, I'm learning how to hear the Spirit and do what He says, consistently, when naturally, I have no knowledge of what to do. I've had successes and failures, but I'm really enjoying the journey. John 16:13 says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” Did you hear that? The Spirit tells you what God is saying and even tells you of the future (which makes sense because God is the Beginning and the End...lol).
I've discovered that God is really REAL. He is present. He doesn't leave. His power is REAL. And the more I believe what He says, the more I see Him and the greater measure of the Spirit I experience. ??Deuteronomy? ?4:29? ?says, “But from there you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” Wherever your "there" is, no matter where you're starting from, you can find Him and be found in Him. He's calling you. And the life he has for you is significantly better than anything you can do for yourself. Again, open up your heart to LIFE like you've never experienced it before. God finds pleasure in the pursuit and so will you. Don't stop seeking Him.
Well, until next time lovely people! I CLEARLY still have so much to say about this topic, so let's put a bookmark here. Next blog, I'll highlight and discuss in more detail a few of the scriptures I mentioned above. I'll also talk about some of my own experiences with the supernatural and practical examples of how to hear, see and move by the Spirit. Feel free to share your comments about this topic below. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Be blessed!
Written By: Andria Livingston
Hello, guys! My name is Andria Livingston. I'm a down-to-earth, part country/part citified 26 year old gal from the buzzing, multicultural and vibrant city of Houston, Texas. I'm also a singer/songwriter, teacher, and a lover of Jesus Christ!
What would happen if I went in the opposite direction of everyone else??? This is a question that I've always asked myself from childhood and it pretty much explains the way I've lived my whole life.
I believe that you and I have been put on this earth to go against the grain, forsake the voice of the crowd, and skillfully live out our unique, God-given purpose. I'm on a journey to continually uncover the hidden treasures God has placed inside of me, but along the way, I want to help you to unlock the wealth of the kingdom in YOU. And at the end of the day, I want us to be effective in the HERE and NOW (right where we are as we are) and reach the people that God has assigned us to touch.
Enjoy the blog! And please check out my blog site: favorflavorblog.com.