“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who the Father will send in my name, will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” ~John 14:26
“But when the, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own, he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” ~ John 16:13
Jesus’ story models for us how a heart surrendered to God, seeks God’s will instead of it’s own. Jesus obeyed his Father by coming down from Heaven and dying on the cross. How was Jesus so obedient even to the point of death? Can we really exercise this kind of obedience in our daily lives? I believe we can, but it doesn’t happen all at once and it’s not something we can accomplish by our own strength or with our willpower.
When we study the life of Jesus, we understand that Jesus’ obedience was rooted in His relationship with God. Their relationship was fruitful largely because of Jesus’ prayer life and, most importantly, His dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. According to Luke 4:1, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” If we fail to acknowledge and invite the Holy Spirit into every area of our lives, we will not experience the fullness of deep, divine relationship with God. And without the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance, it is impossible to practice the level of obedience required to manifest God’s perfect will in our lives. Jesus warns us of such in John 3:6, where he says “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
Obedience is an inside job. We desperately need the wisdom and guidance that only the Holy Spirit can provide. However, we don’t always depend on the well of wisdom that flows from within us. And, left to our own devices, we go astray and do things our way. We generally like doing things our way because it gives us a sense of control, which in turn gives us a false sense of peace. So, releasing or relinquishing our tenacious grip on our will just doesn’t come naturally to us. God knows this about us. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately sick; who can understand it?” And this, my friends, is why the gifts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit are so important to our obedience. We can also rejoice in knowing that God has given us a part of Himself without limit. “For the one who God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” ~John 3:34
So, how do we become more open and sensitive to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit? Through prayer, in which we acknowledge the Holy Spirit and invite Him into every corner and crevice of our hearts. As we pray, and yield our hearts more and more to His guidance, we naturally, gradually begin to operate in the ways of the Lord. We become less stubborn and less insistent on having our way as the Holy Spirit gently guides us through different levels of spiritual growth and maturity. By the power of the Holy Spirit, our minds are renewed and the desire to follow our will decreases more and more. And, over time, with His help, we no longer conform to the pattern of this world.
The late Pastor Myles Munroe once said this in one of his sermons: “ A lot of people get so caught up in the behavior of Christianity that they don’t understand the reality of the Presence of God in their body.” John 14:17 reads, “The Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” God is present in our bodies. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God, lives inside of us. Think about that for a moment ,and think about what that really means. The Spirit that hovered over the waters when the earth was formed lives in us. The Spirit, present in Jesus when He walked the earth, is present in us. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside us. So, much power. So much authority. So much wisdom. The Holy Spirit, alive inside of you and me, patiently waiting on us to invite Him to lead us the way in which we should go.
Prayer: Father, we magnify and glorify your most holy and excellent name. You are such a good, good Father. You are so full of grace. Not only did you give us Jesus, but you’ve also given us the Holy Spirit so that we might accomplish on earth all you have spoken in Heaven. Help us to understand, to get it in our hearts and minds, that you live in us. Our body is your holy temple. So, right now, we invite your Holy Spirit to enter and saturate our hearts and minds. With each passing day, help us to become more and more sensitive to His ways, His wisdom and His guidance. Help us to remember that obedience is only possible with the Holy Spirit. Thank you God for this gift. Holy Spirit, have your way in my life. I pray this in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus. Amen.