For Your gift of God, the Spirit, power to make our lives anew,
Pledge of life and hope of glory, Savior we would worship You.
Crowning gift of resurrection sent from Your ascended throne,
Fullness of the very Godhead, come to make Your life our own.
"For Your Gift of God the Spirit"
Ode to Joy
"This year I'm going to stop __________." Or "This year I'm going to start __________." Or "This year I'm going to do better job of __________."
Any of those declarations sound familiar? Raise your hand if you have made a resolution for 2011 and have already broken it this month. Me, too.
Most of us probably have big dreams, big goals and big expectations of what we will do in the new year. We want to see change. We want to see improvement. We want to know that some kind of forward progress is being made in our lives. And none of those wants are wrong in and of themselves.
But what I was reminded of recently while in church and when singing the lines from the hymn at the beginning of today's devotional is that, as a believer, I am not the power that is supposed to drive this kind of change or improvement or progress in my life. It's the Holy Spirit.
Oh, how often I forget about this precious gift from the Father given to those of us who are his children. We have the spirit of the living God living inside of us. Living inside of us! I forget that. I forget that I am a vessel. That my body is a holy temple. That it is not up to me to make my life anew, in my weakness, in my sinfulness, in my humanity, in my utter depravity.
Like many of us as well, I have come up with resolutions and goals that I want to work on this year. But I easily become overwhelmed when I consider everything I want to address in my life. In my mind, it must be done yesterday and there are no excuses for failure and there is no room for error. Once I can't keep up, though, then I am easily discouraged and ready to give up.
How comforting is that? It's not. And thankfully I have One who works in my life much differently than I do.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (John 14:15).
"But you know him." Again, I forget that I know the Holy Spirit. I know this gift of the Father. He is my helper. He is here to help me help myself! Even when I think I am the one doing all of the work, he is the one who has the power to make my life run as God wants it to run. The Spirit is the "power to make our lives anew."
Will you join with me and get out of the way today? Let's prayerfully consider what plans and goals and resolutions we have made for ourselves for 2011. And then let's see what God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, wants to do in our lives as he makes our lives anew.
May we remember that he has filled us with his holy fullness, God the Father, Spirit, Son.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
"Before you pick up the phone, go to the Throne." I read that on a friend's Facebook status update recently and thought how true that is. How true! When you need help or guidance or feel helpless and alone, are you dialing into the supernatural power that is real and active inside of you first? The Holy Spirit mediates God to believers. He intercedes on our behalf. This gift is ready and waiting for you.
"Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"
Text: Charles Wesley
Music: John Zundel
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.