So like I promised yesterday, today I’m going to write about some stuff I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit in every day life.
And like I said yesterday, I do not have all the answers, but I have some. (Learned from people who are much wiser than me.)
Three ways to get more of the Holy Spirit:
1) Ask for it!
So simple, hey? But here’s the thing: God really wants you to be experiencing a powerful, dynamic relationship with Him. He wants you to be filled with His Spirit. He wants your life to be changed. He wants other people’s lives to be changed because of you, on a regular basis.
So if I pray, “God, today I want You to move in, and overwhelm my life. I want You to change me and take over. Fill me completely with Your power today,” God is not going to be sitting there in heaven, thinking, “Hmm…should I answer Kendra’s prayer? I don’t know if I really want to do that….”
No! He is wanting all of that for me, and if I’m wanting all of that for me, and I ask for it, He is going to answer that prayer.
Now, every single person already has the Holy Spirit – you get it the day you become a Christian.
But if you look at Christians around you, I bet you’ve seen some who are ON FIRE, and some who are just kind of a spark. I’m not talking about judging them, but rather just observing the fact that there will be fruit on the apple trees that are growing healthy and strong, and then there are some apple trees that just don’t have very many apples.
Whatever metaphor you use, I want the one that involves lots. Lots of fire, lots of apples. Lots of the Holy Spirit. Bring it on.
photo © 2005 liz west | more info (via: Wylio)
2) Listen to it.
When you think you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, listen to it! Do what it says! (As long as it agrees with Scripture.)
I heard once that when we listen to the voice of the Spirit, it’s like turning up the volume. It will become louder and louder in our lives. But when we don’t listen to it, it gets quieter.
I want it nice and loud!
The problem is that sometimes that voice will ask you to do strange or uncomfortable things. Reaching out to random strangers, or doing things that might be out of your comfort zone. And you are faced with a choice: Do you want your nice, comfortable, safe life, or do you want the exciting, fiery, apple-filled life?
3) Take Off the Old, Put on the New
Every single day, we will mess up, and make mistakes, and sin, because we’re human. If we ignore all that, and just keep plugging along, the load is going to get very heavy. The Holy Spirit is not going to be able to flow through everything in an unhindered way, because things are going to get a little clogged.
So we need to clean us up regularly, and then ask God to fill us up with the good stuff.
My mentor, whom I love dearly and learn a ton from, gave me her tips for how to start the day off right, and keep things clean and tidy.
Every morning, I try to start off by praying, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Father, I want you to fill this day. I pray that you would crucify every sinful desire in me. I ask you to destroy any critical spirit, judgmental spirit, selfishness, pride, etc, etc,….in my life. I pray that you would forgive me for the ways in which I mess up and allow sin back into my life. I pray that you would fill me with Your Spirit. Fill me with a loving, gentle, encouraging spirit. Fill me with unselfishness, humility, etc, etc….I pray that my life would glorify You today.”
Important Thing to Mention: I don’t believe there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to pray. There is not a formula or magic words that will turn you into a better Christian. Praying is just talking to God. You can say whatever you want – it all works. But what I have found over and over again is that sometimes, there are really great things that I could pray for that I just don’t think of asking for! For years, I never thought of asking God to fill me more. I never thought to ask Him, on a daily basis, to clean me out and fill me up. There are so many good and wonderful blessings in this life that God wants to give us. He will still bless us in many incredible ways, even if we don’t ask for it. But it just makes sense to me that we can ask for it.
So look out, fire and apples. I’m coming to get you. (That’s my version of “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8)