Faith, Resting in Christ, surrender

Empowered by the Holy Spirit

 

I was worn out from the chase. For as long as I’d practiced Christianity, I’d felt like I was running after God and perfection and both were slipping through my grasp. I thought His love for me ebbed and flowed based on my merits. But I found a power working in me that’s separate from my striving and never tires. He’s the Holy Spirit.

He’s a member of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—whom we may avoid because He seems elusive. Early in my faith, I wasn’t sure how to rely on an unseen Being with immeasurable and invisible power. I felt like a failure most of the time. Seemed like everyone around me was crushing it while I was smothered by the stress of life.

Could the Holy Spirit provide power and guidance to transform me into the wife, mother, friend, and servant I desired to be?Could the Holy Spirit provide power and guidance to transform me into the wife, mother, friend, and servant I desired to be? Click To Tweet I needed Him to be real because I was tired of trying to change for the better on my own. So I opened my Bible and read everything about the Holy Spirit I could find. The most important truth I found is that He is with us.

Scripture asserts that God was Emmanuel (God with us) when Jesus walked the earth, and now is present through His Spirit poured out after Christ rose from the dead. In order to rely on His strength, we must believe that God resides in our being. And that with His Spirit, God will build us into who we were made to be.  

As we tuck daily into the Holy Spirit’s presence and yield to His leadership, we’ll experience abounding love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). These were all the qualities I wanted to embody and everything I couldn’t become on my own. So I trusted God to work them out in me as I came near to Him.  

Here’s what walking in God’s leadership has looked like for me. As I spent each day intentionally reading my Bible, praying for every need, growing friendships with other faithful women, and building a relationship with God, I began to hear the His voice. It was never audible, but a gentle nudge guiding me from my old sinful ways to His loving ones. He’d replay truth from Scripture in my mind when I needed help. In moments of anger, I heard to be quiet. While grieving my Grandma’s death, He assured me people are never lost and that Jesus has overcome the grave. When I felt alone, He proved God’s love for me affirming that I’m chosen and adopted into God’s family.

We can’t trap the Holy Spirit’s power by our limited knowledge.We can’t trap the Holy Spirit’s power by our limited knowledge. Click To Tweet We’ll never fully understand the vastness of His reach in this life because we are human and He is God. But we can choose to believe He’s active in our need. Knowing God’s Spirit is with us in every situation empowers us to keep going and fixes us on the right path.  

I’ve found the closer I stick to God through His Spirit within me, the more peace I feel in this chaotic and messy life. Problems still arise, people still disappoint, my sin still tries to drag me away, but now I live with God’s power fighting for me. I simply step in His footprints and keep my gaze on Him. Find comfort this week knowing perfection is not required of you, but that the perfect Spirit of God will transform your life into something better than you can fathom.

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Let’s chat about this! How do you come near to God in your everyday life? How would it change things to know that you are not alone in the battle? Visit us on Facebook to share your thoughts. Or connect more with Andrea at her personal blog.

Experiencing Christ, Video Devotion

Empowered to Chase God-ordained Dreams – Video Devotion

When was the last time you chased a dream?

My daughter loves to imagine fantastic scenarios, often saying things like, “What if I could turn into a cat?”, or “I want to invent a car that flies.”

I almost always have the same reaction. I listen, respond with “Wow, that’d be awesome!”, and then start listing all of the reasons she couldn’t do it.

There would be no harm in me just listening and encouraging her. So, why do I feel compelled to snap her back to reality, to suppress her imagination and her desire to wonder? At what point did I give up dreaming?

I suspect I left dreaming in the dust as life experiences created a fear of failure. Or perhaps I shelved my passions believing I don’t have the education, the skill, grit, determination, the “right” whatever to do anything “big” or make a difference?

But, scads of Bible verses assert that we can do anything, right?! And there are countless accounts in Scripture of “nobodies” doing incredible things, so why do we doubt when it comes to our own lives?

Ah, but I’m overlooking a very important detail, aren’t I? Not one of the “nobodies” in the Bible accomplished incredible feats alone. They accomplished them with God—through His power at work in them.

In Ephesians 3, Paul gives glory to God “who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

So, yes, we can do anything…. anything that’s initiated and empowered by Christ!

God, the limitless inventor of creativity and imagination, wants us to dream—to dream big! Not by chasing wildly after whatever our heart desires, assuming because we want it, He must certainly want it for us too. But, to approach Him humbly, asking that He’ll reveal the dreams He has for us, the plans He laid out long before we were born, the mountains He created us to move. I guarantee, He’s been longing for us to ask.

Have you forgotten how to dream? Or gave up after you experienced disappointment? Ask God to help you rediscover childlike wonder as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

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