People are often attracted to Christianity because it provides the path to eternal salvation. The future of our souls is often what brings us to our knees in the first place. But once we get up off our knees, then what? We know that we are not supposed to sin, but what about the millions of choices we must make in our lives which are not clearly sin/not sin choices? Does God care about these choices? Does He care about what we eat? Does He care about what type of career we pursue? Does He care about our financial choices?
Few Christians realize that God has provided us with a source of wisdom and guidance that can most certainly be tapped into for even these mundane everyday choices as well as big life changing spiritual choices. That wisdom and guidance is found in the Holy Spirit. Allowing this wisdom to guide you can make the difference between just an okay life and a life filled with abundance.
Misunderstanding the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is very likely one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Bible. One of the reasons it is so misunderstood is because it does not fit snugly into our human brains. God the Father is fairly easy to comprehend because we can understand a father figure. Jesus Christ is fairly easy to grasp because he had his human life here on this earth to refer to in the Gospels. The Holy Spirit, however, remains a mystery to many people. What can we compare the Holy Spirit to?
This lack of something tangible to relate to creates two different reactions in people. The first reaction is to dismiss it as merely just an idea. Some even try to demote the Holy Spirit to simply human conscience. The other reaction is to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is a real part of the Trinity, but to also shroud it in mystery. Many believe that you cannot really know or understand the Holy Spirit.
Both of these reactions are mistaken and both reactions rob Christians of one of their most powerful tools for Christian living; a healthy connection to the Holy Spirit.
Understanding the Holy Spirit
In 1 Corinthian 6:19-20 we read:
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
This verse explains to us that the Holy Spirit is a part of us, it was given to us by God, and that he is to own us, control us. “Ye are not your own.” You are not the one who is supposed to be in control. There is no disclaimer in this verse that says the Holy Spirit is only supposed to control us on spiritual or church related matters. No, this verse plainly tells us that we are to be led, guided, controlled by the Holy Spirit in such a way that our entire being is a temple for him.
In John 14:26 we read:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The Holy Spirit is a gift from God. He gave us the Holy Spirit for a specific purpose. That purpose is to teach us all things. Note that the Bible did not say that he was to teach us all church things, or all spiritual things. The Word of God says that he can teach us all things. This included all areas and aspects of our lives. When we truly grasp the fact that the Holy Spirit is a present guide for any and all decisions and steps we take in life, it will bring a new level of enlightenment to our lives.
How to Connect with the Holy Spirit
This is another area in which much mystery has often shrouded the Holy Spirit. Many people have a wrong impression that communicating with the Holy Spirit or connecting to the Holy Spirit is a deep spiritual experience filled with visions and perhaps voices speaking in other languages. Whenever Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit, however, He spoke of him in very practical terms. The Holy Spirit will “comfort you,” John 14:6. The Holy Spirit will “teach” you John 14:26. The Holy Spirit will empower you Acts 1:8.
Never did Jesus make any insinuation that in order to communicate or connect with the Holy Spirit you would need to have a very mysterious spiritual experience. Jesus says that he has been given to us, when we are surrendered and obedient, we can enjoy the gift of the Holy Spirit. But what is the gift of the Holy Spirit?
The gift of the Holy Spirit is connection, communication, guidance, our resource of Godly wisdom which can lead us and guide us on a day to day, moment to moment basis in even what would seem like the most mundane types of choices. So, if this gift is available to all Christians why do all Christians not take advantage of it?
The answer is simple, the Holy Spirit does not communicate when sin is present. When sin is present he is “grieved” according to Ephesians 4:30. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” When we are living in sin he is grieved and cannot communicate with us or guide us. So, the first step in connecting with the Holy Spirit is to make sure that all known sin has been repented of and forsaken.
The next step is to give him a chance. In the high paced, manic life style that most of us seem so addicted to, the Holy Spirit has very little opportunity to truly lead us. 1 Kings 19:12 illustrates how that communication with the Lord is not normally through earthquakes and whirlwinds, but rather a “still small voice.”
Think of an actual, human voice. If someone was speaking to you in a still, small, voice what would you need to do in order to hear it accurately? You would need to be still, be quiet and pay attention. Well the same is true about the voice of the Holy Spirit.
This is something us modern humans are not very good at. Lack of movement is looked down upon. However, we can only tap into the wisdom of the Holy Spirit when we cease our human actions. You have probably been well versed on how to have a daily devotion time, but most Christians define this as reading a few verses, reading a devotional, taking a few notes, saying a prayer and you’re done. Very few Christians engage in an extended time of daily stillness. Yes read, yes take notes, yes pray, but then stop. Don’t get up and rush to the next thing. Just stop. Stay there. Be still.
Our modern technology has made it pretty difficult to engage in an extended state of being quiet as well. Even if you silence your phone, your notifications come buzzing through, right? When is the last time you had an extended time of quiet, stillness? Quiet, stillness is quiet literally the communication method the Holy Spirit uses. Just as you would pick up your phone to text a friend, the Holy Spirit needs a quiet, still moment to communicate with you. Why are so many Christians not led of the Holy Spirit? Because they literally never give him a chance to communicate. If you want to take your Christian life to the next level, give the Holy Spirit a chance each day.
What Difference Does It Make?
If you have a very shallow idea of the Christian walk then you won’t really care why this matters. You have given your heart to Jesus. You are going to Heaven when you die. You make an effort not to commit any of the biggie sins. What more is there?
This guidance of the Holy Spirit is the key element which takes your life from being “okay” to joy filled and abundant. His guidance is the key that slips all the pieces into place. Have you ever had that feeling that things in your life just weren’t clicking? That you’re missing a piece somewhere but could never really put your finger on exactly what it was? It is very likely that these feelings are the result of our lives being disjointed. The separate aspects of our lives cannot truly come together into a Godly, full picture unless we are making choices in every single area, based on the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was sent to be our guide into all truth. John 16:13 plainly tells us that the job of the Holy Spirit is to be our guide into all truth. This means truth and wisdom about every aspect of our lives. Even the areas that seem really not spiritual. Everything about our lives can become spiritual when we are tapped into God’s wisdom. So, let’s look at a few areas of life in which many people shut out the Holy Spirit each day.
God cares about our finances? God does care about your finances, and He has sent you the Holy Spirit to guide you into making the best choices. Listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit will make the difference between making good choices and making the best choices. Our human wisdom can sometimes only discern between the good and the bad, but the guidance of the Holy Spirit can lead us from the good to the best. The best choices for us may look different than the best choices for someone else. The Holy Spirit might guide someone else to buy a bigger house but lead you to buy the smaller house. The Holy Spirit is very personal. Your Father God knows you inside and out and He knows what is the best for you. You can also know what is best for you when you give yourself those still, quiet moments each day to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Our Father knows that finances, in our society, have the potential to destroy people. This is the world we live in. It may not be ideal, but it is the situation. God knows this, and God wants you to prosper, according to what His definition of prospering is for you as an individual. Remember, that may look different than what He wants for someone else. God has an individual plan for your finances, and He will reveal this to you through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We deal with multiple relationships every day. Relationships do not begin and end with, “Who should I marry?” You have relationships with your family, your friends, your neighbors, teachers, parents of your kids, co-workers. All of these relationships, and more, are important parts of your life that can be influenced by your choices, your words and your actions. God may have great plans for you that involve specific relationships in your life. When you are being led of the Holy Spirit, you will be guided in how to speak to the people you interact with, how to handle conflicts, times to show kindness and compassion, times to withdraw and a thousand other important little things that will slowly and surely guide you along the path God has intended for you.
When you are not being led by the Holy Spirit in your relationships, you can cause irreparable damage in areas that never should have been damaged. You may never know what God had intended for that relationship. As you spend more and more time connected with the Holy Spirit, you will start to recognize the feeling of being guided. You will begin trusting that feeling, following through and ultimately seeing the Providential blessings that will follow as a result of your obedience. It isn’t something that anyone can explain to you or teach you how to do. You simply must give the Holy Spirit a chance and see for yourself.
The word of God tells us that our body is to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Not only do most people ignore the Holy Spirit all together, but in addition to that they also care little for the temple. Our society has a certain idea about bodies that could not be farther from the truth of God. These bodies were created in the image of God. Think about that for a moment.
How much care and security and investment of time and money surrounds the original Mona Lisa painting? It is prized as one of the most precious pieces of art on the planet. But what is it? It’s just an image based on someone no one knows. It is valuable not because of who the girl was, but because of who the artist was. Yet, it’s not even a living thing. It is an inanimate object, created by another human being. Our bodies, however, are also images, works of art which were created by God, but not only created by God, but also created in the image of God. We are living breathing works of art, so beautiful and so sacred that God deemed them worthy to become the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Now if the Mona Lisa deserves all the care and security it receives, how much more care should our bodies receive? And yet, most Christians rarely consider their health an extension of their spirituality at all. The truth is the health of our bodies can elevate our spirituality tremendously. If you have never experienced elevated spirituality through physical health, you have most likely experienced crashing spirituality through illness. When we are sick or injured, we are usually very low spiritually. It is hard to focus, hard to pray, hard to “feel” like a Christian at all.
The opposite is also true, though. As our health and wellness increase so can our spirituality. When we are receiving the rest, nutrition, hydration and exercise we need we think more clearly so that we can better connect with the Holy Spirit. We have more energy and motivation to follow through with the things we are being led in. We have a more positive out look which makes it easier to handle our relationships and circumstances. All of these things work together to create a unified, abundant spiritual life.
These practical areas of life are rarely incorporated into spiritual life. This result in a segmented existence that does not have true peace and coherency. The Holy Spirit desires to gives us truth, wholeness in all these areas as well as “spiritual” areas.
If you desire to obtain this wholeness, the first step is to realize that God intends for every single aspect of our lives to flow together seamlessly. This is accomplished when we make time to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It happens when we acknowledge that the Holy Spirit can guide us into all truth concerning every little decision of our lives, even those that seem the most mundane. It happens when we quit grasping and striving in our own human strength and listen to and obey the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives.