Proverbs 31:27 (Amplified Bible) “She looks well to how things go in her household and the bread of idleness [gossip, discontent and self-pity] she will not eat.”

John 14:16I will ask the Father and He will give you another comforter (counsellor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener and standby), that He may remain with you for ever.”

John 20:22And, with that, He breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'”

Who is the Holy Spirit?

  • He is one part of "The Trinity" who is on the earth today. (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Peter 1:2)
  • He was involved in creation (Genesis 1:2) and He remained with Jesus throughout His earthly ministry. (Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 3:16; Acts 10:38)
  • He lives now in all believers. (John 14:16,17; 1 Corinthians 3:16)

What the Holy Spirit does for usThe work of the Spirit

  • He regenerates. (John 3:3-5)
  • He inspires true worship. (John 4:24)
  • He gives a new boldness to witness. (Acts 1:8)
  • He gives power in prayer. (Romans 8:26-27)
  • He gives understanding of the Bible. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
  • He guides and gives direction. (Mark 13:11)
  • He gives skills and abilities through His gifts. (1 Corinthians 1:5-7; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 14:1)
  • He gives discernment as to truth and error. (1 John 4:1-6)
  • He produces fruit in your life. (Galatians 5:16-23,25)
  • He gives comfort. (John 14:16-26)
  • He gives you joy. (Romans 14:17)
  • He encourages and strengthens you. (Ephesians 3:16)
  • He enthuses you. (Ephesians 5:18)

What is the cost of walking with God's Spirit?

In order to receive inspiration from heaven through the Holy Spirit, we must put God first. This means spending time in prayer and loving His Word over and above all earthly pleasures, knowledge or entertainment. Yes, we have emotions, just like God Himself, because we are made in His image, but He is not ruled by feelings. He operates by doing what is right, regardless of how He feels. He may be concerned by our attitude at times, but He never changes in the way that He loves us and treats us. He has no self-pity, no discontent on His own behalf and need for retaliation.

Walking in the Spirit means:

  • Desiring to hear the Holy Spirit; (Galatians 5:16)
  • Being ready to obey; (Galatians 5:17-23)
  • Discerning the difference between the prompting of the Holy Spirit and our own feelings. (Galatians 5:25)

As a result, we can expect to experience the following:

  • The control and guidance of the Holy Spirit;
  • The awareness of Jesus' words continually in our minds; (Romans 8:5-6)
  • The love of Jesus for all people in our hearts;
  • The ability and power of Jesus becoming evident in our behaviour;
  • The power of the life-giving Spirit freeing us from the vicious circle of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

Making a choice – "Flesh or Spirit?"

Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God. Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death, because the old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s law and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their old evil desires, can never please God. But you are not like that. You are controlled by your new nature if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (Remember that if any do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them, they are not Christians at all.) Yet, even though Christ lives within you, your body will die because of sin, but your spirit will live, for Christ has pardoned it. And if the Spirit of God, who raised up Jesus from the dead, lives in you, He will make your dying bodies live again after you die, by means of this same Holy Spirit living within you.” (Romans 8:5-11 - Living Bible)

Be led by the Spirit

The Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us in all our needs, including our prayer-life. (John 14:16) As we develop that intimate relationship with Him and begin to walk in the Spirit, the things of God just flow out of the well of living water that we have within us. (John 4:14) We must ask the Father to show us how to pray for His plans and purposes. We need to find out (through the Holy Spirit) what to pray for. Seeing a need, pulling out our favourite scripture and screaming it out, is not prayer! It’s crucial to wait on God for the way to pray for the individual situation. Waiting, in an attitude of listening and expectation, is often very hard. It’s far easier to jump straight in - in a "war-like" manner. It feels as though we’ve done something too! “'But My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways', says the Lord”. (Isaiah 55:8)

Loud voices, stamping our feet, banging on the walls or even all spending all night in long prayer sessions do not guarantee God's answer. It is only when we’re led by His Spirit to do the things that we do, that the breakthroughs will come. We all know of great miracles in individuals' lives, when God simply said, “worship Me”. Worship may be the last thing that we feel like doing when we have problems. We probably want to rant and rave at the devil instead! “But we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

As we have been learning over the past weeks, everything that we do, say and think must be based on God's word. If it doesn’t line up with what God has already said, we should forget it! God has not gone back on His word so far – and He is not about to start now! (Hebrews 13:8) So, prayer that is based on His word is not only advisable, it’s essential. You cannot separate God from His Spirit or His word. Indeed, God is the Word. (John 1:1-18) His word is described as being "the sword of the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17) and He will tell us what to do with it, in order to have victory in every situation.

From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2)

Proclaiming God's word

When God gives us words to speak out, He wants us to proclaim them. We are now His voice on the earth and He needs us! (Amazing as it may seem!) God has already given voice to His will, plans and purposes, but by repeating His words and communicating them to our own generation, we shall complete the circle and allow those plans and purposes to continue working and to find their fulfilment in our own time. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

We may be thinking, “That’s all very well but God's word is a big collection of material! How do I know what to speak out?” The answer is that God's Spirit is the one who has it all at His fingertips - so to speak - and is inside us to help us, by prompting us with what to say. He may give us a scripture to turn to, or a verse that we know by heart, that will light up the situation like a beacon. There are many ways in which He can communicate with us and it will always be in a way that we can understand. (John 16:12-13) God will not send us confusion or condemnation. (1 Corinthians 14:33; Romans 8:1-2)

Jesus was given supernatural strength and ability during His time on earth and that same help is available to us now in the "anointing" of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had times of such deep sleep that He didn’t even wake up when a storm threatened the boat He was on! All His needs, (spiritual and physical) were met. (Mark 4:37-38) God is willing and more than ready to give us all these supernatural abilities, if we are prepared to receive them from Him and use them in our own lives. For example, if He calls us to wake up at strange times in the night, in order to be with Him in prayer, He will give us the strength we need to do that and to work as usual the next day. We can trust Him to sustain us in the same way that He gave strength and endurance to His own Son.

Knowing God's guidance

This I say: live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16)

Walking and living in the Spirit is the key to overcoming our "flesh" - the warped nature that we inherited as sinful human beings. If we follow the prompting of the Spirit of God within, we won't be dominated by the pressure that our flesh tries to put on us. Like Elijah, we can listen out for that "still, small voice" - the voice of God speaking to us after the storm. It is this "inward witness" that leads and guides us every step of the way. It is a stillness – a knowing – a peace that passes all understanding.

The gifts of the SpiritThe Holy Spirit, through Paul, says to us: “Let the peace [soul harmony, that comes] from Christ, rule [and act as umpire continually] in your hearts, [deciding and settling with finality all the questions that arise in your minds.]” (Colossians 3:15 - Amplified Bible)

As we listen to God's word and the Holy Spirit telling us what to do, we shall be constantly making little adjustments in our lives, according to what He says. Those little adjustments will keep darkness from overtaking us. God knows just what we need. He can look ahead in our lives and see the traps that the devil is laying for us. As we follow the Holy Spirit's leading, He will manoeuvre us safely around them to victory. Jesus tells us that one of the Holy Spirit’s tasks is: “to declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].” (John 16:13b - Amplified Bible)

So we can trust Him to communicate with us; indeed, His entire job is to get through to us! He is well experienced in communication and we just need to listen to Him and be bold enough to go with our “hunches” - that "still, small voice" within.

Using our time well

Are you spending more time pursuing the things of the Holy Spirit than you spend pursuing the things of the "flesh"? If we spend enough time with Him, His thinking is going to rub off on us! His ways will become our ways. We can make ourselves available to Him by praying in the Spirit, worshipping Him and loving His Word. We also need to be around others who love His Word and live it out. Then we shall begin to notice that we are changing; becoming more like Jesus all the time.

Actions not words

In all that we do, we need the Holy Spirit.

  • Even Jesus said: “I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord – but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders].” (John 5:30a - Amplified Bible)
  • "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6
  • "We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us." (Philippians 4:13)
  • "If we walk by the Spirit, we will not fulfil the "lust of the flesh". (Galatians 5:16)

By way of practical examples, this means that we will not:

  • Shout at the children;
  • Succumb to road rage;
  • Hate our enemies;
  • Talk rubbish about ourselves or others;
  • Grow bitter about disappointments;
  • Be proud about anything except the good news of Jesus.

Stay close to God. Listen and go with Him!

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