The title of this post comes from the book I have recently finished reading called, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan.
This is the follow-up post to what I had started writing about earlier on the Holy Spirit. You can find those posts at It Happens in a Flash: Show me how to die and It Happens in a Flash: My Mother's Legacy... .
In the months before my Mother's death, she told me, "P, the Holy Spirit tells me things. If you listen, you can hear him speaking to you too." That got me thinking...do I listen closely to what the Holy Spirit is telling me, or does the busyness of my life and my plans get in the way all too often? She also told me that, if she had not gone through what she did with her pain and her cancer, she would never have relied or leaned on the Holy Spirit as much as she did. "What about me?", I though. It shouldn't take tragedies and hardships in life to bring me closer to God, I should have been doing it all along.
The Holy Spirit is just as much a part of God as Jesus is. We try to explain the Trinity with cutesy analogies like water/ice/steam or the 3 parts of an apple. Those simple explanations do help us and all, but they can never come close to even scratching the surface of understanding the Trinity. The reality is, we will NEVER be able to explain the Trinity. Our human minds can only take us so far and the rest resides in the mysterious awe and wonder of God. Think about it...If we could explain it all, then God wouldn't be God now would he?
I watched my mom closely in her final weeks. She was in constant prayer. Every ache, every pain, every pill she had to swallow, every step she had to climb...she prayed. She told me the Holy Spirit helped her, comforted her, guided her. Doctors were amazed that she was still alive; they wanted to know how she was still here, still able to breath, to talk, to get around. She'd tell them, "It's not me or anything I have done, it's Jesus. To Him be the glory. Praise God!" Then, they'd reply something like, "Well, it must be. Looking at your charts, you shouldn't be here."
Let's face it, there are lots of things we can do without the Holy Spirit. We can rely heavily on ourselves and get pretty far in life: we can attain the American dream all on our own. I don't want to be like that . In the Bible, Jesus explained to his disciples that he had to leave this earth so another could come in his place. One who could live in us and work through us and be with us forever. Wow! Jesus asked God to give us a helper and he came in the form of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). That is just amazing to think about!
At one point through reading this book, I started to think back to where I know I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to act and I did not. To give this stranger a hug or to ask this person if I could pray for them right then and there. So many missed opportunities because they didn't fit into my plan or my schedule for that day.
As Francis mentions in his book, I don't want to be the kind of person who orders the Holy Spirit around and tells him to go where I want to go or do what I want to do. I want to ask the Holy Spirit if I can join Him, if He can lead me and guide me, not the other way around. I need to be brought to a place where people can see God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit working though me: not me working through me. One of the things that Francis Chan said in his book that really stuck with me was, "The God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives. Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us. He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true life."
A few parting thoughts on the Holy Spirit from the Bible as mentioned in this book...
*The Spirit speaks when we do not have the words. (Luke 12:12)
*He is our comforter, advisor, encourager, strength. (John 14-16)
*The Holy Spirit draws us closer to God. (Romans 8:26)
*He convicts us of sin. (I Thess. 1:5)
*The Spirit is our sanctifier. (2 Cor. 3:18)
All of these thoughts fit so perfectly with the things that have been taking place in my life over the past several months, the things that God has been showing me, and what I am currently reading in the book Radical by David Platt. You can see more on this at It Happens in a Flash: The Winds of Change are Blowing
I have a long way to go, I don't fully understand everything, and I'm going to mess things up terribly when I get in the way (and I know I will), but God is helping me. My prayer from here on out is to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through my life so that I might live in such a way that there is no way people could mistake what is happening in my life for anything other than God and His awesome power.