by Doug Mitts
“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you…” (Luke 24:49, NAS95)
Christ’s first advent came with the announcement of the name, “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” Jesus honors that with this promise after His resurrection and shares the Father will send the Holy Spirit to us—literally God’s personal presence with us! For me, this is THE PROMISE.
While I have known this truth with my head, my heart has grown in more readily recognizing the Holy Spirit’s interactions, guidance and leading over the years. Most poignantly in the last 15 or so years, I have experienced deep wonder and joy at what He has revealed to me about how He interacts with me. He has led me to the conclusion that He takes me through pain so I can learn to love. I must confess that in the past I thought I knew what love meant, but I realized without getting to know God personally and interactively, I actually knew nothing about love. I remained self-centered. I still don’t know much, but I do know at this point that I cannot know love, unless I continue to mature in my relationship with God. The Holy Spirit leads me to this end.
As I traverse the contours of my life’s history, I notice things that I didn’t, and they show me God’s presence with me. I can’t recount everything, but I can say, that painful moments contained the deepest points of transformation because they removed obstacles to seeing love. I noticed actions that while I thought they were loving, they really were more self-serving. I noticed things that I automatically did that put distance in relationship rather than creating closeness through relating a vulnerability. Without the help of the Holy Spirit and His reminders of what Jesus taught (John 14:26), the obstacles that blocked what it means to love would have remained.
Recognition of the Spirit’s interaction is essential to responding to His leading so I can leave my old life behind. Even that recognition of His leading comes from His work in my life. Yet, as I have grown, I’ve learned that obedience (responsiveness) to His leading holds the key to receiving and growing in His love, as well as extending it to others. Since the Holy Spirit trains me in love, I am learning that love, because of its goodness, inspires me to invite others on this journey with me. THE PROMISE is too good to be true!
Warmly in Christ,
“For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.” (Psalm 21:6, NAS95)
- How does the Holy Spirit interact with you and get your attention? What sort of prayer results from that?
- What role do silence, solitude or stillness, play in learning to recognize the Holy Spirit’s love and guidance in your life?