Acts 1:4 “….don’t leave until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Lately – in the last year or so – I’ve been wrestling with some challenging questions about the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit to me? Do I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit? How much time and thought have I given to the Holy Spirit? Do I really understand and appreciate the Holy Spirit?

I don’t know if it’s the terminology of Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit that made it harder for me to grasp – perhaps. For some reason, though, I’ve really sidelined the Holy Spirit. I pray to God, in the name of the Son – but I rarely say or think about the Holy Spirit. In my head or otherwise…even typing the words out so many times has made me feel…weird. Spirits make me feel weird.

It’s not a lack of faith – I don’t question the inexplicable trinity thing, I can take that on faith. I just didn’t give the Holy Spirit the attention deserved. It was an etheral otherness part of God – something in me, but less concrete than the concepts of God and Jesus.

Then one day reading Romans, I came across a verse that made me sit up and pay attention:

Romans 8:26 “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.”

The Holy Spirit does this for me? Oh how comforting I find this, in the times when I am broken hearted and confused by this broken and pain-filled world. I just cry out and trust the Spirit to transform my worries and fears into the right request. Sometimes I suspect the cry ends up being a plea to give me a way to help, sometimes the plea is for some temporary relief from the brokenness, sometimes the cry is just groaning at the pain of this broken world….the Spirit, It groans with me.

But who is groaning with me? Why, the very God of the universe. The Spirit is God – within me. That was the awe moment for me – the moment I grasped, fleetingly, the implications of the Spirit, as God, inside me. The more I pondered this idea of God and the Spirit being one and the same, the more I began to trust God. The more I began to trust God, the more I began to trust myself.

You see, I get these promptings in my heart. I get these nudges – to call a friend, to give money to the beggar, to take the time to compliment. I get these little nudges ALL the time. Most of my life I have stuffed them down – or I have followed through with them but with a heavy heart. You see, I would question my motives – I would question whether I could trust what was driving those acts. Was I wanting something from them, was I just trying to get some good credits – a gem in the crown if you will. And not understanding what drives us, can cause us to put on the brakes. A lack of clear motive inherently results in caution.

Once I began seeing the Spirit as God within me though, I started trying to trust it a little bit more. I started with the hypothesis that all these nudges were God, via the Spirit inside me, asking me to do His will. And, under that hypothesis, I started following through. Every time.

A friend popped into my head and I sent her a text with a piece of scripture only to learn that she was going through something in that VERY moment and the scripture fit it perfectly. She said she felt like God had just reached out to her directly.

A beggar asked for money for a meal, I had no cash and the kids with me so I said, I’m sorry, I cannot. But then I reconsidered and offered to by a meal at the fast food place across the parking lot. You know – I explained to the kids that we were buying food for the man because he was hungry and didn’t have anywhere to eat – and they didn’t ask me to buy them anything. (Parents of young kids may see the miracle in this more rapidly than others.)

The point is – the results of following the promptings made it very clear that they were motivated by a power beyond me. They helped me to start to trust the nudges. They helped me to trust God more.

Sometimes it is embarrassing – sometimes I’m prompted to speak up about things I would rather keep to myself – in church or small group settings – but I’m leaning into the Spirit more and more often in those moments and trusting that there is a big reason every single time. It’s my opportunity to be used for His glory even though I may never see the end result.

And the more tuned in I am to God – the more promptings I get. As a matter of fact – one of the ways I know that my attention is wandering is the sudden realization that I’ve not had any nudges for awhile. Come to find out – if you aren’t listening for God you can’t hear Him very well.

2 Corinthians 13 says, “May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Fellowship can be defined as the state of sharing mutual interests and companionship. What a lovely thought to be ‘in the state of sharing mutual interests’ with our God.

I just want to encourage everyone to lean into this mutual interest thing. Trust those promptings – recognize and value that God will lead you to people and places for a reason. May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, always.



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