Help Along the Way
Many of Jesus’ teachings are difficult to practice.
Love your neighbor.
Love your enemy.
These teachings and more outline what abundant living looks like here on earth for every believer in Jesus. But there’s a problem: these teachings are often counter-intuitive to the ways in which you and I have been taught to live or the ways we instinctively react to the world around us.
I naturally love myself, or my stuff, more than God.
I naturally judge and gossip about my neighbor.
I naturally imagine my enemy’s very public humiliation.
These are my confessions.
If we’re going to follow Jesus into abundant living, we need to reprogram our instincts. And we’re going to need some help, since our instincts are hardwired into our very being. Thankfully, Jesus sent the Helper to do just that. You might know the Helper by His other name: Holy Spirit.
People often think of the Holy Spirit as a power, a force (think Star Wars), an energy that we use to get things done. The Holy Spirit is thought of like a surge of adrenaline which may help us lift a heavy weight.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…” John 14:16
However, it’s more accurate to think of the Holy Spirit as a person. A person is powerful, but they are also loving, compassionate, reasoning, and free. In short, a person is relational.
In healthy relationships, people don’t use or manipulate another person to get things done. They collaborate. It’s important to know the Holy Spirit is a person with whom we collaborate, not a force we manipulate. But it’s equally important to know what things He helps us get done. The Holy Spirit isn’t here to help us:
Get straight A’s in school.
Get the job of our dreams.
Help our sports team beat the opposing team.
The Holy Spirit has a much different agenda:
Everything Jesus taught us to do, the Holy Spirit helps us to do.
The Holy Spirit is concerned with God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. And because He’s all about healthy relationships, He won’t use or manipulate us against our will. When we are willing to participate in what the Holy Spirit is doing, He is powerful enough to help us get it done. The question is, what is the Holy Spirit doing in or around you that you can participate in?
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