I've been wanting to listen to our church's sermons from Wednesday night's on the Holy Spirit, but haven't due to my schedule the past week plus I volunteer with our children's ministry every Wednesday. Then today I watched a short teaching Joyce Meyer had on the Holy Spirit and after I finished watching that, I clicked over to my Facebook and saw John Bevere has just posted a status on the Holy Spirit as well: "In order to be intimate with the Holy Spirit, we must seek Him so that He will draw near to us." So finally, taking the hint that I needed to seek the Holy Spirit; I turned off my computer, turned on my worship music, started praising God and began talking with Him - willingly I sought Him out.
Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. (James 4:8 AMP)
Something I've learned about asking God where I've missed Him, or done the wrong thing, He doesn't hold back. The first thing God showed me, was that my family's current difficulty was only a big problem, because we never brought it to God in prayer, BEFORE it became a problem! Our heart was in the right place, of this I have no doubt; but if we had prayed about the situation, the Holy Spirit would have shown us that this was going to end up being painful. We believed we were doing the Christian thing - being charitable, gracious and showing mercy; our actions might have been right, but since the people we were showing these traits to were (unknowing to us) dishonest, selfish, and downright criminal - it was going to lead to pain - pain that could have been avoided if we had prayed for discernment. Since we had always prayed on the big important decisions, I just assumed our decision was the only choice because of our good intentions based on scripture and Christian characteristics - and that's where my lesson begins.
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (Philippians 4:6 AMP)
Did you catch that part - "...but in EVERY circumstance and in EVERYTHING..." we're supposed to pray. It's not just the big stuff, anytime we've got to make a decision, check with God, His Holy Spirit will give us discernment. I really love what the Voice translation has to say about this verse:
Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. (Philippians 4:6 Voice)
The video I watched with Joyce Meyer had Pastor Reinhard Bonnke (he's an amazing Evangelist whose ministry has brought over 74 million souls to salvation in Africa over the last 20 years!), his explanation of the Holy Spirit through his study of the scriptures is this: the Holy Spirit is God in action here on Earth and that the annointing of the Holy Spirit is our faith confirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in one's life. My big take away from this definition was - action, the Holy Spirit can't help me if I'm not actively seeking His advice. Jesus told the diciples that it's 'profitable', that He (Jesus) leave, so God can send the Advocate (John 16:7). The actual Greek word is 'Parakletos' or helper and comforter. I love what Jesus says here in the Amplified version:
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—
The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. (John 14:16-17 AMP)
Once you have the Holy Spirit in your life, He never goes away, He's there to stay; you can run away from Him, but that doesn't mean He's left you. If you've found yourself in a big ol' mess, that doesn't mean your helper has said, "Well, now you've gone and done this, it's all on you. I'm not helping you, you got yourself in this mess and you can get yourself out of it!". No, that's something we might say, or the enemy might try to convince you; but God doesn't think that way!
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)
God loved us so much that He didn't spare His only Son, so we could have an everlasting life, He doesn't give up on us because of a mistake or even our sins (He wants us to repent of them and learn from them though). He knows our hearts, He knows our intentions, He's not only the God of love, but the God of mercy and grace! Once you've made Jesus your Lord and Savior, there is nothing that we can get ourselves into, that He can't get us out of; there is nothing the enemy can do to us, that God can't undo. There is nothing that the Creator of the Earth and Heavens can not do. Most followers of Christ, know Romans 8:28, but I just fell in love with this verse all over again after reading verses 26 and 27.
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. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:26-28 NLT)
Child of God, there is nothing that God can't turn into a blessing - He has a plan for you, He has a purpose for you. He is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow - He can still part the waters, He can still bring the dead back to life, and He can still bring you to your Promised Land!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 AMP)