Sometimes we start off on a venture without knowing just what we’re getting into. It might be a friendship, a marriage, a new job, a ministry project, or our “happily ever after” life. We had all sorts of expectations but then something happens and we discover it’s not all we expected.
And so it is with accepting the Holy Spirit. The agreement to surrender to his control didn’t come easy but we made the commitment knowing the end plan was worth the temporary sacrifice. Then the struggles begin. We feel like we have one foot in this world and one foot in the next. Tozer puts it this way: “You are trying to take some of the world and get some of the world over yonder. You are not ready for this because you haven’t given up all so you might have the All. You want some (of the Holy Spirit) but you don’t want all.”
Don’t fret. This is actually a normal response. We have a bond with the things of this world and God needs to pry us loose so we can experience so much more. Trust me, I’m on the path with you. Truthfully, it’s a daily battle of who we let control our life and our destiny.
Commitment is the glue to every lasting relationship. It’s what keeps a marriage together when we aren’t so lovable. In marriage the “two who became one” form a new entity called “us.” Commitment is what keeps us cooperating with the Spirit too.
It’s easier to remain committed when we look through different eyes. The Holy Spirit awakens us to a new realm of spiritual reality. It’s not simply about doing good deeds, but about advancing God’s supernatural plan to redeem all who will come to him. The Spirit shows us how to let go of the things of the world. That next advancement, your retirement account, your treasured house and belongings, even your health and well being. . . everything takes on a different perspective when you ask God to see the world, and the people around you, through the eyes of Jesus.
We believe what we trust. Up until now we’ve trusted what we’ve been taught and conditioned to think. The media and entertainment industry have more influence on us than we’d like to admit. But when we look to the scrIptures as our center of focus, the filter by which we see ourselves, others, and the schemes of the world, life changes. When we learn to listen to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit – who is God – we learn trust and cooperate with his plans. There are still struggles but the game has now changed – forever.
Tozer offers some pointers to help us grow this relationship:
1. Remember the Spirit is a living person, not some conjured ghost. Just as earthly friendships grow as we spend more time together and building trust so your relationship with the Spirit grows naturally also.
2. Focus on honoring the glorified Jesus in everything you do and say and think. I know it sounds impossible, but over time, your love for Jesus will compel you to draw closer.
3. Live like Jesus. The only one who was without sin and always righteous lives in you. His authority allows us to live like he did, putting off the desires and temptations of this world and putting on the attributes of Jesus. With the guidance of the Spirit you can live a life of love, peace, joy, faithfulness, goodness, and so much more. His authority becomes yours. Believe it.
4. Submit your thoughts to his authority. Our thoughts determines how we respond when it’s rainy, when disappointments and frustrations come our way, and life thows us the worst of circumstances. Choose which thoughts will prevail: the old ones of bitterness, anger, and resentment or the new ones formed by our growing relationship with the Spirit.
5. Get to know him by reading his Word. Grow your interest in knowing Jesus and let your interest in temporary things fade. And just don’t read it; meditate on it. Reflect on it through the day. Apply it to your daily activities.
6. Learn to recognize the presence of the Spirit. He is everywhere you go. Expect him to show up. He will show you how the most common experiences can reveal spiritual secrets. When you hear his voice, you will find that Jesus is all you have…and all you need.