July 17, 2006

The Essential Spirit

1 Corinthians 2

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14


I barely remember her coming to our Bible study. For about a year an average of a dozen people met each Tuesday morning, and Rose came just a handful of times. On one of those times, though, she heard the gospel and believed in Jesus, and a few weeks later she showed up in church--she alone of all the others in that Bible study. What happened?

It's clear that we have responsibilities in God's mission to the world. But it is equally clear that we are not solely responsible--or even primarily so. The sailor must unfurl the sails, but it's the wind that moves the ship.

"The wind blows wherever it pleases ..." says Jesus. "You cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). So it was in the life of Rose. Unseen by anyone present, the Holy Spirit was working in her heart.

It's difficult to talk about the work of the Spirit. Like the wind, the Spirit is mysterious, invisible, and yet powerful. We see evidence of his presence, but we do not know where he might be working or where he is going.

The immensity and difficulty of our mission, along with our own weaknesses, can easily overwhelm us. We need to remind ourselves that we are not alone. The mighty Spirit of God is present with us, preparing and transforming hearts as he works wonders in this world.

Holy Spirit, we often misunderstand your presence in our own lives. Teach us to rely on your power for living and to follow where you lead. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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