Walking With the Holy Spirit
We are in the middle of our Epiphany sermon series on ‘Walking with the Holy Spirit’. As part of our theme of ‘Deep Calls to Deep’ we are thinking about how we discern the Spirit’s voice in our day to day walk with Jesus. I want to lay out some of those pointers here to encourage you and stir your Spirits so that we make the best of this pandemic season we find ourselves in.
1) Choose to open your spirit to the Holy Spirit. God promises that when we draw near to Him, he will draw near to us (James 4:8) and so, claiming that promise, do your part by drawing near to him. In the sermon that began the series I used the analogy of letting a piece of music wash over you and become part of you. Find the same space and attentive attitude towards the Holy Spirit. Ask him to fill your life and expect him to fulfil his side of the bargain.
2) Attentively listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking through scripture. You can read the whole New Testament in 20 hours! That is about the same time investment as watching a season of Grey’s Anatomy. You can choose day by day to spend time in God’s word. You can use Bible reading notes to structure what you read, or just start at the beginning of Matthew and read a section a day. But when you read, read in a posture of openness to what the Spirit will speak into your Spirit. Don’t just read for information - read and chew it over and listen to what the Spirit is saying.
3) Attentively listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking to your spirit. As we come before him in prayer, God’s Spirit puts on our hearts thoughts, impressions, ideas, images, words. We need to discern to filter out those thoughts that come from the Holy Spirit from simply our imagination. Journaling is a helpful practice for many. But if you pray ‘Lord, show me who to reach out to today’ and a person or two come to mind - trust that this is the Holy Spirit prompting and act on it.
4) Build some structure for yourself. I am encouraging everyone to have a Rhythm of Life, a Practice of Prayer, and a Soul Friend. The whole of our lives are God’s. The time we work, our diet, our sleep, the relationships we have. We are stewards of all of these things that God has entrusted us with. Ask him what to build into your life and what to prune out. What habits bring life, and which suck life out of you? Build in prayer as a part of that rhythm of life. And do not walk the journey alone. Have at least one companion on the way, who you share your faith life with.
My prayer for you is not that you slavishly follow a plan that you concoct, but that something from this article would stir you and encourage you along the way. Be blessed and live fully in the freedom that Christ has won for you on the cross.