What a difference a day can make. What a difference a person can make. It has been almost twenty years, but I remember the day and the person so well. My life has never been the same since. I was in my mid 20’s and I was having lunch with a woman I came to know through the workplace. Our paths seemed to cross frequently and our interactions always left me feeling better each time we intersected. On one particular day I clearly remember noticing a freedom in her that I certainly did not have in my life. She seemed to have an inward strength that enabled her to love anyone who came into her life.
At that moment I realized that I was not free to love like she did. I could not. She was free to love while I was held captive. Captive by everything ranging from unforgiveness to insecurity. I clearly wanted what she had. Now, being the direct person that I am, did not beat around the bush. I felt safe enough with her to just ask her “What is it that you have that I don’t? Is there more to the Christian life than what I know?” I thought there must be because I had no real joy and she was filled with it. There it was said. I desperately wanted to hear her answer.
She began to tell me about the person of the Holy Spirit. I had not really heard much about Him. I had never heard about spiritual growth and the work of the Holy Spirit to transform me. I guess if I had gone to church more than once every three or four years I would have learned a little something. But, when you’re in the trap of trying to achieve worldly standards, time is easily squandered on yourself and who you think you should be instead of being invested in the spiritual reality of truly knowing Jesus.
She shared about the power of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to know Jesus deeply. He reveals Scripture to us. That was a great source of encouragement to me to realize that I have a helper. Up until that special day I had no idea of who I was missing and what I was missing. My heart began to beat faster as I realized that thiswas the key I had needed to find. I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me with His presence.
“It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart I will send Him to you.” John 16:7
From that day forward, I began to learn of the person of the Holy Spirit. By yielding my strong-willed nature to Him I felt real purpose for the first time in my life. I began to have a joy that was not dependent upon my circumstances. I experienced a love that did not originate from me but yet lives in me. I was free. Free to become who Jesus created and called me to be.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with your forever- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17.
I have learned that it is a journey. Sometimes I run with Him and other times we walk. He never gets tired of my many questions and I experience a spiritual intimacy that is only made possible with His Spirit. The same Spirit that empowered Jesus ministry and raised Him from the grave extends to you and to me. I know that I can’t live free without Him. Do you experience this freedom? If so, who is God leading you to share with how He has touched you?
Yes, I clearly remember what it was like to want to know about the Holy Spirit. But, now I can testify of the wonderful blessing of how He reveals and imparts Jesus’ love. He has changed my life and He can change your life too.
Director of Congregational Care