Nothing compares to when God sheds light on something that I really didn't even know I needed lit. I've been struggling with some things for several months now. Things I don't plan on sharing, but really what they are doesn't matter. What I'm learning is what matters. I've had a craving for answers, His Word, His movement, just Him. And I pray and I read and I pray some more. And nothing. I get nothing. It makes me doubt. I question. I read 1st John. I proclaim my belief in the One who died for my sins. And I continue to trust without feeling Him. I know He's there. Because He says He is. So, in this search, I read His word and the words of others who believe. Because those of us who believe are all in this together. We are all living life and trying to figure things out. Some are gifted and I need those in the body whom God has gifted. And this reading is not in vain, it's a genuine desire and He promises those who seek Him will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
So, in this search, several weeks ago I felt a desire to go through the fruits of the Spirit. I started with love and I began studying what His word says about love (a lot, by the way). Then on a whim I picked up a book I had read half way on the Spirit and began reading, again. And surprisingly (or not) I just happened to be starting the chapter in Dug Down Deep on the Holy Spirit.
And as I read I felt the light... maybe I'm reading and I'm praying but it's all lifeless without His Spirit. You can read the Bible and it just be facts and nothing more. You can pray and it just be words. You can parent and you can be a wife and you can try to do right. But without His spirit it is just rules to follow, ceremonies to go through, tips to try. It can leave life dry.
It's not enough that we simply know truth. God wants us to feel it, to believe it, and to apprehend it in the deepest, most personal way. He wants us to be able to say, "The cross is for me. The empty tomb is for me. Forgiveness and adoption and redemption are mine because I am united with Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ loves me! Jesus is with me!" Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep
For the believer the Spirit is our gift... the greatest gift we've been given! Christ says, "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7) That is amazing! We are at an advantage because we have been given the Spirit! I don't just want knowledge or even belief (James 2:19). I want feeling and ownership of my faith. I want the confidence of being His child that comes through the Spirit (Romans 8:15-17).
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:13-15
There is much I don't know about the Spirit, but I do know that the Spirit's chief purpose is not for myself, but to glorify Christ. But we can't deny that He is for us! And His Spirit is proof of that!
So, my realization: I have forgotten the One He sent for me. I have neglected the Spirit and I have wanted control. So I will repent and refuse to settle for a dead, lifeless faith. He's promised much more.
I'm thankful for His work and as I hear Him(and have time), I will share.
His calling me... His wooing... oh, what a gift of mercy and grace.