My First ChristiansSeptember 4, 2014
Momentum ShiftSeptember 18, 2014
The “life that is truly life” that Jesus promises us is linked directly to the Holy Spirit that he promises to send into us. Don’t miss that. The Holy Spirit is the link – but for most of us He is the missing link.
Jesus promises a life of clarity, and energy and creativity through the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises this Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. He will counsel us; he will direct us. (John 16:13)
The New Testament book of Acts is replete with example upon example of this Holy Spirit doing precisely what Jesus said He would do. The Holy Spirit encourages Peter with a green light: “Yes, definitely go see Cornelius, even though he is an outsider Gentile.” (Acts 10:19 paraphrased)
And the Holy Spirit convicts and protects the Apostles with red lights: “Paul, do not go to Asia. I have other plans for you.” (Acts 16:6-10 paraphrased)
God promises this clarity and insight, day by day, step by step: walking through life sensing God’s movement and God’s will as we encounter opportunities, conversations, conflicts, challenges, and decisions. We call them green lights and red lights – and even yellow caution lights.
Dallas Willard describes this life like this: “God wants to bring us beyond the point where we need signs to discern His guiding hand. Satan cannot counterfeit the peace of God or the love of God dwelling in us. When Christ’s abiding presence becomes our guide, then guidance becomes an almost unconscious response to the gentle moving of His Holy Spirit within us.” Hearing God
If you have surrendered your life to Jesus as your Savior, then this “almost unconscious” gift of guidance is already within you. It’s powerful. It’s real. It’s the Holy Spirit in you. Your own spiritual GPS.
Please notice Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would guide you. This is the way of the gentle rhythm of the Holy Spirit: guiding, not forcing. The Way of Jesus through this powerful Holy Spirit is to guide you, not frog-march you into a set of dogmatic doctrines and rules and performance.
Jesus did not bring with him a new set of 10 commandments. He brought with him a new Way. The last night Jesus is with his disciples he tells them: “You’ve been with me three years. You have followed me; now just keep following my Way.” To which Thomas said, “We don’t know the way. We know the rules, Jesus, but we don’t yet know the way.” (John 14:5-7 paraphrased)
Jesus then makes his heart-piercing declaration: “I am the Way – and I am the Truth and I am the Life.” (John 14:6) Wouldn’t you rather follow Jesus, than to try to follow directions?
I was in Milan, Italy once by myself and was completely turned around. I had walked off into a side neighborhood and could not find my way. I approached a young man to ask for directions. He started to tell me, in broken English/Italian, to “go this way, then turn right and go that way, then turn …” – but he stopped, because he could see the anxiety on my face.
I couldn’t possibly follow all those directions. He could see this, so he smiled and said, “Allora, just follow me. I will show you the way.”
Jesus can see your frustration and exasperation, too, and he is saying to you, today, as you read this, “Just follow me. I’ll show you the Way. And I will give you a Power within to guide you.” No more wondering, “What is God’s will for me in this?” The promise is a seamless walking in rhythm with your Lord. In good times and in bad.
Oh sure. There will be times when you have to wait on the Lord to reveal his Way. Those times are always for our good. But this rhythmic life is available. It’s attainable. You can have it! And it is simply fabulous.
But you must surrender insisting on your way. You must surrender your way to the Way of Jesus.
Jesus is reaching out to you right now, saying, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30) The Message (Bold added)