The Holy Spirit in Real Life

We desire for God to be so evident in our lives that He shines through with unmistakable evidence that He is real and involved in our lives. Besides an incorrect theology that speaking in tongues is evidence of the Spirit in our lives, how can we know He is there?

Quotes:

So it is when our spirits (small s), as distinct from our souls, that the Spirit (big S) comes to live. Our spirits have direct communion with God’s Spirit as we cultivate the spiritual life. — Jerome Daley

The Holy Spirit establishes the righteousness of heaven in the midst of the unrighteousness of earth, and will not stop or stay until that is dead has been brought back to life and a new world has come into being. — Karl Barth

It is through the Word, and the Word alone, that the Spirit teaches, applying the general principles or promises to our special need. And it is The Spirit, and The Spirit alone, who can really make the Word a light on our path. — Andrew Murray

Top 10 Implications of the Spirit’s Activity in Your Life:

  1. You find it unrepentantly easier to be patient and kind (Galatians 5:22).
  2. You sense a sudden urgency to pray for a friend or family member.
  3. You long to spend time with God and be in His presence.
  4. The Bible makes sense to you like never before.
  5. Scriptures to encourage others pop out of your mind.
  6. Your appetite for God’s Word gets stronger and stronger.
  7. You recognize that the Spirit has gifted you in a certain way to allow you to serve God with a certain ease and effectiveness.
  8. You may develop dreams that illuminate God’s heart.
  9. You sense God’s nearness and comfort when you are grieving.
  10. You feel an inexpiable peace in the midst of stressful circumstances.

Spiritual Relevance

There is a Christian culture that is complete with its own language and traditions; and most of lost America has no clue how to connect with or understand us. Christianity is some ancient or foreign ritual that has no relevance in modern culture. But the gospel is relevant to every person in any culture, we just have a public relations problem.

Quotes:

Few people articulate a redemptive message using relational terms. We believe in logic, science, lists, and formulas. God’s doesn’t use any of those. — Donald Miller

Our failure to impact contemporary culture is not because we have not been relevant enough, but because we have not been real enough. — Sally Morenthaler

The test of the vitality of a religion is to be seen in its effect on the culture. — Elton Trueblood

Your life is not your own, it belongs to God. To “be yourself” is not just to be anything you want to be. To “be yourself” is to be and do what God wants you to be and do, knowing that God created you for a mission and knows you and your mission better than you do. — Leonard Sweet

Top 10 Ways to Be Spiritually Relevant:

  1. Filter religious jargon from your language.
  2. Do not filter your authentic spirituality.
  3. Be respectful of other people’s convictions.
  4. Do not hide your own convictions.
  5. Tune in to the felt needs of your culture.
  6. Do not limit your spiritual gifts to the church.
  7. Offer advice, not judgment.
  8. Expect God to work miracles in your workplace.
  9. Do not hide your struggles and failures.
  10. Never move in fear; always move in love.

Ways to Influence People

Leadership can be defined as exerting influence over people; which puts just about all of us into a leadership position. We influence people all the time; thus making us leaders. There is an art and a science to leading others; and the best example of leadership is Jesus himself.

Quotes:

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. — Henry Drummond

We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have–for their usefulness. — Thomas Merton

Top 10 Ways to Influence People:

  1. Respect other people’s time, space and values.
  2. Listen beyond words to someone’s heart.
  3. Ask questions in order to get to know someone.
  4. Be vulnerable with people closest to you.
  5. Make time for people, not just projects.
  6. Spend time in prayer with people you love.
  7. Go beyond chit-chat to real issues.
  8. Know your friends’ real dreams and intimidations.
  9. Take a road trip to build a friendship.
  10. Have fun together in spontaneous ways.

Connecting in Prayer

Prayer is often misunderstood. It is more connecting with God than it is a formula for getting answers or even stuff from God. Sometimes we think that God is like a genie waiting to grant our wishes if only we would ask Him. The fact is that the more we get to know God, the more our prayers are changed. We ask differently when we begin to realize the sacrifice of Christ. When we go through the pit with Christ, that experience changes our prayer life. Oswald Chambers once wrote something like, prayer is God’s avenue of change in us. When we pray, God will change our hearts and will often use us to bring about a solution or an answer to our prayers.

Quotes:

Prayer is not a means to an end. In so many ways, it is the end itself. — Beth Moore

Prayer lays hold of God’s plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit’s prayer. — Elizabeth Elliot

Work, work, from morning until late at night. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer. — Martin Luther

Top 10 Steps to Connecting in Prayer:

  1. Inward – reflect, breath, prepare.
  2. Noise – declutter anxious and distracting thoughts.
  3. Let go – inhale the nearness of God, exhale hindrances.
  4. Hurts – acknowledge and confess your brokenness.
  5. Distractions – focus thought and life upon your Source.
  6. Holy space – be, receive from your heavenly Father.
  7. Outward – freely you have received, freely give.
  8. Self – savor the gift of God that is in you.
  9. Planet – feel the passion the Creator has for His cosmos.
  10. Others – call forth the purposes of God in your relationships.

Expressing Passionate Faith

Passion is generally defined as intense emotion; and when we have passion for God, we live differently than simply living a casual existence, just simply getting by. We develop purpose and meaning and direction. We are then motivated to serve because it is the right thing to do, not out of guilt or for any rewards or recognition that might come. Imagine pursuing God with the same passion we had for our wives, before we got married.

Quotes:

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain. — C. S. Lewis

There is no emptiness of soul ever for those whose life is devoted to God. — William Lawson

Few delights can equal the mere presence of One whom we fully trust. — George McDonald

Top 10 Expressions of a Passionate Faith:

  1. Worship freely: let your body mirror your soul.
  2. Pray continually: speak with feeling and intensity.
  3. Share openly: Do not filter your spirituality around unbelievers.
  4. Live intentionally: fill every day with Kingdom content.
  5. Serve radically: lead your family into spiritual connection.
  6. Love deeply: love for and respond to people’s urgent needs.
  7. Listen carefully: take time to hear people’s true hearts.
  8. Protect vigilantly: know the enemy’s schemes and cut him off.
  9. Speak honestly: Don’t mask your soul in religious veneer.
  10. Rest thankfully: invest wisely in Sabbath renewal.