1 Jul 2012
Perhaps you have heard the phrase: “Ready, Shoot, Aim.” Much to my chagrin, I have practiced this series of significantly sorrowful steps more than most. Most of us live in places where the world is in a hurry. It may be that even today we will leave things undone that we planned to finish simply because we did not have the needed time to complete them.
Recently I have been asking the Lord about His Spirit. Questions like: How does one receive minute by minute guidance from the Holy Spirit? Or: How can I know what activities to put on my list? As a believer I know that the Holy Spirit is indwelling me. At least I am acquainted with this fact in an academic sense.
The Bible has much to say about the work of the Holy Spirit, several things that should be active in my life are: His guidance, His power, His protection, His illumination of the Word, His character [fruit], and His guidance in our praying. There are more, but for now here is what is troubling: how to experience these basic characteristics of the Holy Spirit actively and practically and without fail minute by minute in my everyday life?
I think the change that I am seeking may perchance be palpably correlated to my perspective, or more specifically to my heart belief in the size and scope and power of the Holy Spirit. With our poor small finite minds we can only really value things in relative terms. In other words beauty is beauty but the extent of beauty is relative to something of greater or less beauty. Oh yes we attempt to get away from this by scientific means, such as temperature in degrees, or pressure in pounds, or mass in grams, but behind each of these sophisticated terms is the relative measurement from something known.
If you accept the aforementioned means of valuing as somewhat valid, then we soon see that the size of the Holy Spirit is difficult to determine. We know that the Holy Spirit is a full partner in the Trinity and as such is roughly the same size as God. However we have no relative measure for God. Of course we have in His word clear pictures of what He can do which should give us some hint as to His size, but we often relegate these reports to some other time or perhaps with an even more serious flaw we may see these as fables or stories that do not actually relate to our daily lives.
At the end of the day the issue seems to be what is in actuality important? What we visualize and contemplate with our finite minds, these minds that cannot see to the end of this hour, should these be our primary point of reference for the setting of our priorities? Or on the other hand should we humbly yield to the wisdom and knowledge of the one that knows all and sees all for all eternity? We have been given this choice. We can choose each and every minute Who and in what we put our trust.
However the sense of the Bible seems to strongly indicate that we cannot have one foot in both worlds. We must either, submit to the Lord and wait for His direction, or we can run off, based on our own best thinking, in our personally directed course. I believe some teach that God can better steer a car when it is moving. This may be true in some cases but it seems unlikely to be true when God is trying to direct the car to stand still and wait.
It seems that God desires to provide for us a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire in the person of the Holy Spirit. But much like the Israelites, we must constantly keep looking up. As Tony Evans once said in an airline pilot illustration, we must stay in contact with the tower.
The Holy Spirit evidently desires to help us in our praying. It seems that He will direct us regarding what to pray, particularly when we pray with our Bibles open. Since the Holy Spirit was God’s primary instrument in the writing of the Bible, He clearly knows where to direct us when we pray. Even when we do not know how or what to pray the Bible clearly confirms that the Holy Spirit will pray deeply to God on our behalf.
We sometimes have this predicament; we don’t want any help with our prayers. We think we know what we want and we want to pray for what we want. These cases may results from our over value of our thoughts and understanding and our under value of the wisdom and leading and directing of the Holy Spirit and His Word.
I believe God is teaching me that we can have as just about as much power and wisdom and direction and help in our praying as we desire, that is, if we are desperate. It seems that we must humble ourselves, we must seek His face, we must turn from our wicked ways, and sometimes we must simply wait and keep on asking in order for God to fully hear from heaven and respond. But if waiting is required it is well worth the wait to have God sized wisdom, and direction and power working in and through us and through our prayers. Perhaps these things can be a key to praying in ways that bring glory to our God?
John 14:12-13 (NASB77)
12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.
13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.