03 March 2013

a real relationship

insecure? living in fear? not sure where u stand with God or if u even believe in God.
there is nothimg more power than knowing where u stand and being secure in who u r and in your faith. that's what Holy Spirit gives us.
"tho i do not believe God gives us His Spirit solely for our personal benefit, it is undeniable that one of the greatest aspects of being in relationship with the Holy Spirit is the intimacy, security, and encouragement He brings us." ~Frances Chan (FORGOTTEN GOD)
it is because of the relationship i am growing with Holy Spirit that i, too, can enjoy the quiet strength, peace, and knowing that the things that happen will be taken care of. peace in the midst of a storm, a song that my mother held dear back in my youth. it still holds true for her and me.
Galatians 4:9 says that i am "known by God".
what does it mean to be "known by God"?
being "known by God" is the Spirit's confirmation to your spirit that u r God's child. having been fully adopted by God, thru your acceptance of what Jesus did, as his child and heir, u r in right standing with God. and i am loved by God.
let's look at 2 possible obstacles if ur spirit cannot cry, "Abba! Father!"
COMFORT (maybe your life is too safe)
Holy Spirit is referred to by Jesus as the "Helper" or "Comforter". this is a good question that Frances Chan asks: "y would i need to experience the Comforter if my life is already comfortable?" Philippians 1:29 those who put their lives at risk, suffer for the gospel who will experience the a more powerful Matthew28:20.
when i am facing difficult situations, i have found that is the closest i am to Holy Spirit. the calmness, strength, peace that is given from Him to me helps me endure the trying time. i am strengthened in my faith each time i get to experience the intimacy of Holy Spirit. it is sad that it takes difficult times to make me experience those precious, intimate times.
VOLUME (maybe your life is too loud)
do u have too much goin' on in your head when u try to take time for God? maybe it's the kids, or work, or texts, email, and TV. these r distractions that clutter our mind and can cause us to multitask while quietly sitting and "trying" to focus on God.
"...it is a spiritual disciplyine to be still, to listen, and to cut out the distraction and din of our world." ~Frances Chan (FORGOTTEN GOD)
take time to read John 14-16. soak it in and let God speak to u. in these chapters, Jesus is reassuring the disciples that He will not be far from them even tho He is physically gone. God's Spirit will be sent to all those who accept Him to abide within them and be secure in that they r "known by God".
as i/we develop our relationship with Holy Spirit, we can call God "Abba! Father!" i like to call God, "Daddy" cuz that's how i think of him. a song sung by Holly Dunn called DADDY"S HANDS pays tribute to her father. i adopted that song cuz it reflected how i remembered my dad. i learned the in sign and surprised my father at the church he pastored in WA. it touched him so deeply that he had a difficult time moving forward with the service. that song was my way of forgiving my father for the past hurts and that i come to understand that he really loved me. (the last time i did that song was at my sister's second wedding. it's a song that i share only when asked cuz of it's deep meaning to me.) tho Holly was singing of her earthly father, the song also can reflect God. take a listen to the song sometime and see if u can relate.
calling God "Daddy" is putting more intimacy in the relationship as He is definitely one that is for us and wants the best for us.
if u have personal baggage that keeps u from enjoying the intimacy God so desperately wants u to experience with him, get rid of it. u don't have to go back to being a servant first and show God that u r good enough to come to Him. just go to God and apologize. then let God reinfuse u again with His Spirit. and if u r just beginning the journey with God, all the better cuz God wants u to know u r loved and forgiven. just like the prodigal son in Luke 15:20
remember that Holy Spirit is the "Comforter" in times of trial and the "Volume" in all God is.
Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God..."

20 February 2013

why do u want Him?

CHAPTER 4
James 4:3 - u ask and do not receive, because u ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
below r questions Frances asks:
"so, really, y do u desire the Holy Spirit's activity in your life? do u want to experience more of the Holy Spirit merely for your own benefits? is it for power? is it for your own betterment and purposes? or is it because u want to experience all that God has for u? is it because u love the church and desire to be a better servant to your sisters and brothers?
here is the reason we r empowered by the Holy Spirit: I Corinthians 12:7 tells us that each of us is given a "manifestation of the Spirit for the common good". we r to share what God has given us for the uplifting of others to draw then into a relationship with Jesus. that is the reason we r empowered by the Holy Spirit.
many times i have seen the power of Holy Spirit move supernaturally on, in, and thru people. i have witnessed these people being used mightily to show and share God. i have also seen them take the attention away from what God wants, is doin', or has done in the past and put the attention on themselves. i am guilty of this as well. when the attention is taken away from God, the empowering is removed. i have been in gatherings both large and small where the Spirit of God is moving mightily and remains in the place the whole time and i have watched the Spirit of God move and then leave as the attention was taken off of God and placed on something or someone else. it is heartbreaking to see the Spirit of God leave a gathering of believers. a few times i have witnessed God's Spirit just hovering over the gathering doin' nothing that i can see and then dissipating because He was not given an opportunity to move. the attention must always be focused on and pointing to God. He is the reason miraculous things happen, not me.
ALWAYS KEEP GOD AS THE FOCUS! your words and actions should always point others to God so that He is the one who receives the glory and attention.
r u a follower r a leader? in other words, do u try to lead the Holy Spirit into doin' something or do u follow what the Holy Spirit is showing/telling u to do? trying to get the Holy Spirit to do what we want does not work. it causes confusion and skepticism in those u r trying to reach. following the lead of the Spirit allows God to move as He will and do the work that is needed in those around u. following the lead of the Spirit is not easy, but always rewarding.
remember, love, self-control, joy, and faithfulness r all part of the package when we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. the opposite of which is strife, fits of anger, dissensions and idolatry.
being led of the Spirit means "crucifying" the desires of our flesh. that means denying the things we want and embracing the what the Spirit wants. that's a struggle in itself as our flesh can be very strong in its desires. but when we "crucify" the flesh, the Spirit's desires become more prominent. Holy Spirit does not put on us more than we r willing to do. i have taken small steps in my growth in the Spirit-led life. believe me when i say, i struggle daily with my flesh. i have to choose to keep my tongue or not. i tend to put myself down and "convince" myself that others don't care about what i have to say. so i tend to pull away and try to hide. so God is having to get me out of "my comfort zone". thru New Life Church, i am slowly coming out.
in my own life, i have seen Holy Spirit move tho i struggle with the open showing of it in gatherings. i like the one on one better where i can get to know someone and share common interests like baking, crafting, playing games. that is where i "feel" most comfortable. God has been gracious to let me "shine for Him" in that way.
a parting thought/question:
taken from Frances' book, FORGOTTEN GOD: "who do U want me to love for U today?

theology of Holy Spirit


Chapter 3
does it really matter what u think about something? it sure does. what u think about something will determine how u respond.
who is the Holy Spirit? what does He do?
1) Holy Spirit is a person. John 14:17 - "dwells with u and will be in u." this calls me to a relationship
2) Holy Spirit is God. He is not a lesser or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son.
3) Holy Spirit is eternal and holy. in John 14:16 we read that the Spirit will be with them forever. "But consider this truly amazing fact: because the Spirit is holy and dwells in us, our bodies r holy sanctuaries from God's vantage point. too often we disdain our bodies as the source of sin and our fallenness; yet they r precisely where God the Spirit chooses to dwell! from FORGOTTEN GOD by Francis Chan
4) Holy Spirit has His own mind and prays for us. Romans 8:27 - this is very comforting knowing that the very Spirit of God prays for me according to the will of God.
Holy Spirit has emotions - Isaiah 64:10 Ephesians 4:30 emotions were created by God and we can grieve the Spirit of God by ignoring Him and hurting others. when was the last time i were saddened when my sin grieved the Holy Spirit? stubbornness and lack of forgiveness can deeply grieve the Holy Spirit. it is most likely due to the lack of concern on how God feels about situations in my life.
Holy Spirit has His own desires and will - I Corinthians 12:11 important reminder of who is truly in control
Holy Spirit is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient - all powerful (Zechariah 4:6), present everywhere (Psalm 139:7,8, and all-knowing (I Corinthians 2:10b)

13 February 2013

what r u afraid of?

Chapter 2 " we r called to patter our lives after the WAy described in the Bible. we r not called to fear what following the Way of Jesus may require of us, but that doesn't mean those fears won't crop up. A life of following Christ requires relinquishing those fears when they do come. it means refusing to let your fears of what others think, your fears of rejection, keep u from pursuing the truth about the Holy Spirit and whatever else God is teaching u and calling u to." from FORGOTTEN GOD by Francis Chan
empoweinng me is something God wants to do.
do i really believe that God gives His Spirit to those who ask?
do i believe that God keeps His promises or not? do my prayers and actions give evidence of my belief?
praying for what God has promised is different from praying for what i would like to have. God always answers. if i do not get the answer i wanted, it does not mean that my faith is weak. it means God has said, "no" or "not in this way". God knows what we ask and many times we r granted our request. but don't just look at the gifts or results, stake ur faith in God alone.
do i trust God that when he says no or "not in this way" to me, i still believe He is good and doin' what is best?
i am called to live in a way that reflects the reality of the Kingdom of God as one of its citizens. where does my allegiance lie? do i care about what people think when they see me, or do i care about seeking the truth concerning the Spirit of God and then living in light of the truth, holding to those promises, and enjoying that relationshi?
i need the Spirit in order to live faithfully. i also need others to help me as i walk out my faith. take time to consider what is holding me back. admit what i fear, my attitudes, and my responses r to fully opening up to His Spirit.
what is the point of labeling within the Christian community? aren't we all followers of Jesus? the focus should be on believing the promises given by God, submitting to Him our fears, and surrendering fully to the work and will of God, the Holy Spirit.





12 February 2013

questions

below r questions that Frances Chan has asked within the intro and first chapter of his book. these r the questions that stood out to me. only the questions r in this post. i will be taking these questions and searching the scriptures for my own answers. but these r good for all of us to ask ourselves.
is it possible to get enough or even too much of God?
is there a point when a person can be satisfied with the amount of intimacy, knowledge, and power of God he or she experiences?
doesn't every encounter with God only cause us to thirst for Him more?
if we were to start with Scripture and allow it to dictate our actions, how would we live?
have i ever sat down with the Bible and sought after its self-evident truth? or have i passively ingested what i heard from other people?
can u really tell the difference between a believer and nonbeliever if u didn't recognize their faces from church? would u know from their actions they r followers of Jesus? y does this happen? how is it even possible?
can u blame nonbelievers for not wanting to know Jesus when our lives r just like theirs?
have u ever thought about the significance of having "another" Counselor who is "just like" Christ?
yet y do we assume that the physical Jesus would be any better than the literal presence of Holy Spirit?
what do we do with the fact that Jesus says it is better for His followers to have the Holy Spirit? do we believe Him? if so, do our lives reflect that belief?
when was the last time i undeniably saw the Spirit at work n or around me?
who is the most Spirit-filled person u know?
these r questions that i want to answer in my journey to having a more intimate relationship with Holy Spirit. i'm sure there will be more questions forthcoming and the group may very well come to an end b4 i am finished searching these out. with God's help and guidance, i will.

what about u? will u search out even one of these questions?

beginning the journey

i am making this blog to share my journey into knowing the Holy Spirit more intimately. i am part of a growth group that is reading a book called, FORGOTTEN GOD. each week, we discuss a single chapter and share what we have gleaned from it. we r also encouraged to practice what we have learned in every day life.
in this blog, i hope to share my experience of getting to know the Holy Spirit in a more personal way as i learn to listen and live it on a daily basis. i know that it is not easy. but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. however, the reward is a closer walk with God, which is my goal.