Expect the Holy Spirit to Work in Your Life
- 2006 5 Apr
While there are many volumes written on the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, I want to focus your attention on four things you can expect Him to do in your life. Things you may not have thought about, but things Scripture makes clear.
1. We can trust the Holy Spirit to anoint and to inspire our words.
While there are a number of passages I could point to, I want us to look in the book of Acts. In Acts 4:29-31, we read about the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiring Peter and those with him to boldly proclaim the gospel. Here is what they prayed:
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
There are several things I want you to notice here. They prayed…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…and they all spoke the Word with boldness. When you speak the Word with boldness the way Peter did, people are going to take note that you’ve been with Jesus. The Holy Spirit will inspire your words and give you a boldness you have never had before.
2. We can trust the Holy Spirit to direct ministry activity.
We have a great example of this work of the Spirit in Acts 13:1-4:
Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
Through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit, Saul (who would become Paul) and Barnabas went on their first missionary journey.
We don’t know exactly how the Holy Spirit said, “Separate to Me Barnabas and Saul.” Maybe He spoke it through prophetic utterance. Maybe He just spoke to their hearts. But they knew what the Holy Spirit was communicating. They had already been in the church at Antioch for about a year teaching the disciples when the Holy Spirit said, “Now it is time to separate them.” And they went out.
Now I’m all for the marvelous strategies that are going on in the church today and for the terrific programs. But you know what? Let us not program the Holy Spirit out of His church.
Let’s not strategize the Holy Spirit out of our lives. Because at the end of the day, “It’s not by might, it’s not by power, but it’s by My Spirit,” says the Lord. My point: The Holy Spirit should be directing ministry activity.
3. We should expect the Holy Spirit to help us as we pray.
Romans 8:26-27 is a powerful passage assuring us of this work of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
When we don’t know what to pray for, we can lean upon the Holy Spirit who knows the exact will of God concerning every situation.
In fact, when it talks about “the Spirit helps in our weaknesses,” in the Greek language, there is actually a compound word that literally means “to take hold together with/against.”
When we don’t know what we should pray for, the Holy Spirit takes hold together with us against our weaknesses or against our inabilities to produce results, and He prays the perfect will of God. What an incredible work of the Spirit!
4. We should expect the Holy Spirit to work the miraculous.
In Romans 15:18-19, Paul tells us this:
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.
Signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God…God is still a miracle-working God. He will work miracles in your life as you trust Him. We need to step out and trust the Holy Spirit and expect Him to do the miraculous!
Bayless Conley pastors Cottonwood Christian Center, a thriving church located in Orange County, California. His television program, Answers with Bayless Conley, airs in over 100 nations worldwide.