it's from my friend Andy, who's reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan right now, which is what he'll be talking about.
Time for talking about the Holy Spirit: :)
Though I’m only a couple chapters into the book, there are a few things that God has alerted me to. It’s such an eye-opener to take in books like this with an open mind and be able to see the inaccuracies of my thinking and the ways in which we can improve.
“Jesus comforts the disciples by telling them that ‘another Counselor’ is coming (John 14:16). In John 16:7 He goes so far as to say it is to their advantage that He leave so the Counselor can come. And in Acts 1:4-5, after His death and resurrection, He tells His disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. (The disciples obey because that's what people do when someone rises from the dead and gives instructions). Jesus’ disciples had no idea what or whom they were waiting for, or what it would be like.”
The pastor from the church I went to on Wednesday nights in high school wrote a devotional book on how to pray and have a devotion called “The Prayer Experiment.” In it he suggested to read the Bible while placing yourself in different people’s roles of the story each time you read the passage, to add feelings and emotion into what we might have been thinking.
As I place myself in the shoes of the disciples here, I’m really baffled as to who or what to expect. I mean what could possibly be ‘to my advantage’ more than a living, physical Jesus who I walk beside every day? I wonder if they felt this same way, even after Jesus was gone? When he told them to stay in Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit, I would have expected another physical being to come to be with us (disciples). As promised, when the disciples were all gathered, they received the Holy Spirit.
God promises that when we accept and ask Him to place the Holy Spirit within us, he is faithful to do so. It’s not something that we are required to beg for. This leads right into the next part of the book that really hit me the hardest so far.
“I think the fear of God failing us leads us to ‘cover for God.’ This means we ask for less, expect less, and are satisfied with less because we are afraid to ask for or expect more. We even convince ourselves that we don’t want more-that we have all the ‘God’ we need or could want. I cant imagine how much it pains God to see His children hold back from relationship with the Holy Spirit out of fear that He won’t come through. How much it grieves Him to watch His children ignore the promises He’s made throughout Scripture due to fear that those promises won’t be kept! Empowering His children with the strength of the Holy Spirit is something the Father wants to do.”
The passage above could very well be broken into two separate parts but the part above that caught my attention and pulled at my heart the most is that we sometimes don't believe in God enough to think that He will answers our prayers 100%. How can we not have full confidence in God to empower us and do His work through us?
And on top of that, the fact that we often hold back from desiring to be filed with the Holy Spirit, which I unfortunately do sometime. I think to myself, well I’d have to give up this and do this and that. No, that’s not right! I need to seek first the kingdom of God, leaving all the rest of my life to fall in line with that.
*As I think about this in the shoes of an earthly father, I ask myself over and over “How would I feel if my son or daughter held back from desiring me because they didn’t have enough confidence in me to come through or provide for them?” That one question has been the major point that shook me in the first couple chapters. As a father, I would be beyond broken-hearted. I-as I’m sure my earthly father does also- want my kids to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I support them, will do whatever I can for them, and desire to have an amazing and personal relationship with them.
i love you all!