In my Tuesday night Bible study we are reading Francis Chan’s book “Forgotten God”. It is a concise and to the point little book, not even 200 pages, about how many modern Christians have neglected the influence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and how we can begin to remedy this. Last week we covered chapter 5, “A Real Relationship”. The chapter starts off with a challenging quote from Karl Barth,
“When we are at our wits’ end for an answer, then the Holy Spirit can give us an answer. But how can He give us an answer when we are still well supplied with all sorts of answers of our own?”
How much easier is it to seek comfort and guidance from the Holy Spirit when we are lost, confused, or in need of comfort? When I was studying in Mexico about three weeks into my stay there I felt so broken and worn down. I was drained physically and emotionally. I didn’t realize the stress I was under the first two weeks I was there and flew through life, loving it, but all the feelings I had pushed down rose up and overwhelmed me that third week. (Not to mention it SNOWED and was in the freezing temperatures, which burst the water pipes in my house!) During that week I turned to Him for comfort more than ever. If I hadn’t waited until I was at my “wits’ end” to call out to Jesus I could have saved myself a lot of stress and hurt. This study has been a good reminder to me to daily give my life to Him and keep our relationship strong!
The picture that came to mind when I thought about our relationship with the Holy Spirit is that of a one-sided friendship. I’ll bet that at one time or another, of maybe even now, you have had someone in your life who was needy and always coming to you for something. Anything. Everything. They come to you with their baggage, with their problems, complaining and asking for advice (which they don’t seem to listen to when you give it). Although these relationships give us a prime opportunity to show Christ’s love and model the Holy Spirit in our lives, and maybe for some of us a little glimpse of our relationship with our ever loving, ever present Father God.
I feel that my relationship with God is often like this. I come to Him with questions, with complaints, with requests. Far to infrequently do I come to Him in praise or simply to be with Him. I am the needy, selfish friend who consider all the time, love and effort invested in me. We have been given the Holy Spirit in us as a guide, counselor and friend, but I think it is important that we do not take this for granted and use this amazing gift selfishly!
If you haven’t read Forgotten God I’d recommend grabbing a copy. It’s not a book that when you read it you go “WOW. I never thought of it like that before!” but more of the kind of book that makes you think “Yep, I’ve been neglecting this for too long.”
Chan points out that two things that keep us from intimacy with the Holy Spirit are noise and comfort level. Especially now with Lent upon us maybe it’s time to consider cutting out some of the “noise” in your life. Internet, TV, maybe even overtime at your job or time with friends! I decided to give up facebook. I know it sounds kind of silly, but social networking sites were taking up quite a lot of my time. I wouldn’t sit for hours browsing, but it was always in the background distracting me. A notification, a message, a wall post etc… Never ending. It has honestly been refreshing not to have the distraction. I had originally decided to cut it our for a week (along with sugar, haha) but after our last Bible study I decided to go for the whole Lent period. Now I’m not saying you should give up facebook, but maybe there is something rather irrelevant in your life that is a distraction from your relationship with God that you can give up for a period of time. Just something to think about.
Happy Thursday, I’m thinking about writing a post up on Wasabi EVERYTHING. My new addiction. One of my goals this week was 2 blog posts, since I’ve been slacking on Liv(e)LoveLaugh while updating my new photography blog. This is #2 so I’m golden!