The Holy Spirit can be difficult to talk about but He’s arguably the most relevant person in our daily Christian lives. Let me say that again – THE MOST RELEVANT. Jesus told His disciples that the Spirit would teach them all things (John, 14:26). In John 16:13, Jesus told them that the Spirit would guide them into all truth. But there’s even MORE to Him than that!
As Christ followers we need the Holy Spirit because chocolate milk is better than white milk, sometimes our life jackets will get lost or fall off, and to give us power for the impossible. Let me explain –
Speaker Roger Hershey says that being indwelt by the Spirit at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 1:13) is like squeezing chocolate syrup into a glass of milk. It’s in there but, settled at the bottom, you can’t necessarily see a changed life. Being filled, however, is a constant walk with the Spirit, stirring up the syrup until the milk is transformed and looks like the chocolate.
I love that picture! No one can taste the chocolate unless you stir it up. You stir it up by leaning into Him and continually asking for His power and His guidance in your everyday life. I would even argue it is next to impossible to live for God without a Spirit filled life. We must breathe out through agreeing with God about our sin and turning back to Him (John 1:9) and breathe in by asking the Holy Spirit to fill you once again – to stir that chocolate up.
Where’s My Life Jacket?
Our church, Christian friends, our Christ following family, devotions etc. are like our life jackets in this world keeping us afloat, but if you were to take that life jacket off, it’s the presence or lack of the Holy Spirit in you that proves if you can swim.
The Spirit reminds you of God’s truth and helps you to produce fruit in your life – Both valuable skills to have when you can’t find your life jacket. James 2:26 reads “faith without works is dead” Many of us have heard that many times, but do you know what the very preceding fragment says? It says, “as the body without the spirit is dead,” so all together it states “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead”. We need the Spirit to help us to be fruitful. Jesus, part of the trinity with the Spirit says “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” I don’t know about you but I want to do something! Definitely not nothing! I know that I will be known by my fruit (Matt 7:16)! When my life jacket comes off, how am I staying afloat? Will I sink of swim? More than that, how am I bearing fruit?
Power for the Impossible
In my first book, As My Mind Unwinds (you can get the book here), I have a chapter called Baptism to Stay Afloat, which is funny because the last section just mentioned life jackets and staying afloat, but I promise this is meant to be mentioned here and this is why – it states:
If we’re all honest, we’ve all proclaimed utterances of failure to ourselves whether audibly or thoughtfully in a moment of unintentional or unexpected sin. We love the Lord. We’ve confessed our sins and asked Him into our hearts and we take up our cross daily….only to stumble and drop it too many times to count, but more than enough times to make us feel like powerless failures.
We know that Paul himself admitted that he finds himself doing the things he doesn’t want to do and not doing the things he wants to or knows he should do (Rom 7:15, NIV). Often in despair and anguish over failing again in our own human strength, we find ourselves singing the lyrics of a popular christian song, “Do you still feel the nails every time I fail? Can you hear the crowd cry crucify again?…..” We are devastated that in our human weakness, we have fallen into temptation again and we wonder, “how is it even possible to have the power or the strength to stand firm for Jesus?”
But God has provided an answer for this frailty of ours. He has gifted us the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He is part of the God Head three in one (Mark 1:9-11, NIV) and gives us power to do the things God asks of us (Romans 8:26 and Acts 1:8, NIV).
The chapter in the book then goes on to say:
Our problem in receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit often lies in another human weakness…… the complexity of our minds and our inability to rationalize the simplicity of receiving this free and generous gift. It’s like with my five year old son, Aiden. He takes swimming lessons and can’t seem to conquer the almighty back float. I’ve explained to him that when swimmers are tired or weak, the ability to float is a gift God has the water provide for us to help us out. All he has to do is relax, tilt his chin up towards heaven, and open his arms wide as if wanting a big hug from Jesus…..and then, without even realizing it or really trying, the water will mysteriously and mystically ENABLE him and lift him up and support him! Although he hears this, his five year old mind can’t logically comprehend and trust that it’s so. He therefore becomes scared and tries to do the work on his own by twisting his body and kicking his legs which only causes him to fail and sink every time.
If we want baptism in the Holy Spirit, all we have to do is ask and receive (Matthew 7:7-11, Acts 2:38, NIV). We don’t have to force anything. It’s a free gift…the same as salvation (Romans 6:23, NIV). It requires no work on our part but to ask and take what God has so graciously offered us through Jesus Christ. When the baptism is underway, the Holy Spirit will ENABLE you by giving you His manifest presence and impressions of what to pray. All we need to do is relax, receive and have faith to obey.
So there you have it. As Christ followers we need the Holy Spirit because chocolate milk is better than white milk, sometimes our life jackets will get lost or fall off, and to give us power for the impossible.
It has struck my heart the last few years, but even more recently how our beautiful church is lacking in power. The bride has good intentions but we will continually spin our wheels if we don’t take hold of the gift offered us and stir it up. Now go pour yourself a tall glass of chocolate milk and pray about what you just read.