God In You
The Wonder and Work of the Holy Spirit
Day 1: On Sunday, Cory started a four-week journey of exploring the wonder and work of the Holy Spirit, the God who actually resides within every Christ-follower. He challenged us to read John chapters 14-17 each week during this series. Cory gave us more than a Holy Spirit 101 detailing what the Bible says about who the Holy Spirit is. He said that if our goal is to just increase our head knowledge, we would miss the true gift Jesus left for us: the life-giving ability to experience the Holy Spirit in a one-on-one relationship. Have you prayed to the Holy Spirit? Read John 14. Jesus is giving his last words to the disciples. These are important words for Jesus. Before you read, pray this. “Holy Spirit, teach me about Yourself and the relationship you desire to have with me. Help me understand more of You. Help me to learn how to hear You.” Write down what jumps out at you as you read this chapter.
Day 2: Read John 15 and add to your notes about who the Holy Spirit is and how He can interact with us. One description of the Holy Spirit is as our advocate, our helper, our personal champion. Who in your life would you consider is ALWAYS in your corner and ALWAYS speaks the truth? The person who has your back no matter what situation you’re in or difficulty you are facing. Have you ever thought of the Holy Spirit in this way? How might accepting His unconditional support, honesty and love impact your life? Go ahead and bend His ear with something you’re struggling with today. Then spend time listening.
Day 3: Continue reading John, chapter 16. “In the name of the Father, the Son and…the Holy Spirit.” All of us have experienced saying these words out loud and in prayer. Yes, we’ve included the Holy Spirit, but how often do we live with an awareness of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit, so that we could live in faith and with purpose. In Forgotten God, Francis Chan says the true source of the church’s power is in igniting and enabling the Spirit of the living God within those who follow Christ. But Chan says while most Christians admire the gift of the Holy Spirit, they often neglect to open it. We can ignore tapping into the “power within us,” choosing to go it alone and rely on our own strength. Is there a challenge facing you, a conflict with a friend or family member that seems insurmountable? Do you feel alone in this? Confess to your Advocate that you cannot solve this situation by yourself. As you dialogue with Him request wisdom and insight. Admit you need help; you need power that only the Holy Spirit can generate. Be still. He will answer, not through your intellect but within your soul.
Day 4: Think of a marriage that you hold in high regard. What is it that makes you smile when you think about their relationship? Maybe it’s how they constantly finish each other’s sentences. Or how one always laughs at the other’s story, even though it’s been told a hundred times before. What you don’t see are the years behind the scenes of intentional relationship building. How their love has been tested and forged by walking through good and hard times together. How trust and mutual reliance are outcomes of a daily choice to live relationally. Jesus wants us to have this same approach with the Holy Spirit. To live out the relationship daily with a partner who is pulling for you, working to make you more like Jesus, and showing you how to remain an effective follower in a confusing world. Just like the husband and wife you thought of earlier, there’s an undefinable oneness ready for those who embrace the Holy Spirit. Are you hearing His unique voice in your life? Reflect on your relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Day 5: Finish the week by reading John 17 and capture additional insights or questions about the Holy Spirit. In Luke 24:49, Jesus instructed the disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the Spirit. They had been by Jesus’ side for three years, had witnessed His teachings and seen His miracles. They even were sent out to teach and heal in Jesus’ name. Yet He asks those who knew Him best to wait. How does this command from Jesus prioritize the importance of having a growing relationship with the Holy Spirit in your daily walk? From chapters 14-17 or from this week’s reflections, write down some next steps you can take to know the Holy Spirit in a deeper way.