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week 7: Where the Spirit of the Lord is…

2 Corinthians 3:17

2 Corinthians 3:17

What I learned about God: The Holy Spirit is movin’ and shakin’

This week at the Institute Pete Deison from Park Cities Presbyterian Church came and taught about the Holy Spirit. Pete pointed us to several rich passages that helped me further develop my knowledge of God the Spirit. In a very broad sense, here are a few things I learned, and am now able to reference (thank you, Lord)  about the Spirit and his interactions with believers:

The Spirit has a personality! He has: Intelligence 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, feelings Ephesians 4:30 and a will 1 Corinthians 12:11 (he determines gifts for people). He also: teaches John 14:26, guides Romans 8:14, commissions Acts 13:4, commands Acts 8:25, restrains Genesis 6:3, intercedes Romans 8:26, helps our weakness (lifts our burdens), speaks  John 1:26, 2 Peter 1:21. He can be obeyed Acts 10:15-21. He can be lied to Acts 5:3. He can be resisted Acts 7:51, He can be revered Psalm 51:11, He can be blasphemed Matthew 12:31, He can be outraged Hebrews 10:29. Let’s not shoot for the last 5, sound good?

Does he have Divine qualities, too? Better believe it! Omniscience 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, Omnipresence Psalm 139:7, Omnipotence Genesis 1:2. He’s also Regenerating john 3:5-6 and Sanctifying 2 Thessalonians 2:23.

What does this have to do with me? How do I respond?

Along with pretty much everything that I’ve been taught this year, I left class wondering how to apply  this wealth information  to my life. Here’s what the Lord has been stirring in my heart:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

So, this is a call for me to walk in that freedom consistently. Here’s the tricky thing– consistency is like a full time job! Before we can go there, we need to first address the question at hand, ‘what does freedom look like’?

I figure the best way to identify freedom is to first identify it’s opposite, bondage. And we have a new question, what are the things that bind me? The first one that comes to mind is worry. What is more annoying, crippling and consuming than worry? Let’s get real, though– the root of any and all bondage is self. Think about it, why would I worry? because MY plan might not work out, or might get my feelings hurt. Here’s the cold, hard truth: my plan seldom, if ever, succeeds; and when, in the rare instance, it does succeed, it inevitably plays out terribly.

Perfect record– Sarah’s plan: 0    God’s plan: 100.

So, freedom in my life should look like so:

1. Complete trust. Isaiah gives us an equation of sorts in Chapter 26: Steadfastness of mind + trusting in God = Perfect peace. One way to steady the mind is by remembering all that God has done. Has he ever failed? No. Has he ever not worked everything out for good? No. Did he leave any of his people hanging throughout the entirety of the Bible? No. What about me at any point in time? Nope.

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.”

2. Purposed neglect. By this I mean my intentional neglect of anything that I look to or seek to satisfy myself apart from God. Tried and true: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing provides lasting satisfaction like the right standing and consequently intimacy with God that is in Christ.

Psalm 145:16 “You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

3. Right perspective. Perspective comes from seeking and cherishing the things of God over the things of the world, or the things of me. Knowing this and practicing this are two very different things. If I truly and consistently cherished the things of God… his will, his choosings, his provisions, his withholdings, and everything in between… I would not worry, but rather be at rest.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieve break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Long story short– The Holy Spirit has, and does, and will continue to guide, commission, and teach me. He will also help me in my weaknesses. When I think about the things that cause me to worry, I realize what they all have in common: me. I worry when I anticipate my plans falling through, expectations not being met, or getting my feelings hurt. Okay, selfish much? My plans have yet to be what’s best anyway, expectations are 9 times out of 10 a trap for disappointment, and what’s so bad about getting hurt? God always heals me and then I have a great redemption story!

Basically, worrying is blatantly insulting God to his face. I trust that he is who he says he is and can do what he says he can do. The Spirit of the Lord is in me, and I thus have freedom inside me; I have to choose to walk in it daily. Therefore, it’s about time I quit flirting with accessible freedom– teetering back and forth between peace (in select, surrendered areas) and worry (in the select, gripped areas)– and choose to walk in the freedom consistently. “Oh that my ways may be steadfast…”

Praise the Lord for his unwavering patience and long-suffering.

I’m off to Israel for the next 10 days! I will have a double post of lovely Lord, self and miscellaneous discoveries. Until then, laughin’ at ’em

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