I don't know about you, but I could always use a little extra help in my life. What if someone offered you a HELPER who was available to you 24 hours a day, who could take your limited understanding and broaden it, who could tell you exactly which path is the best for your life, who could give you specific directions to keep you safe and so much more? Well that's exactly what Jesus offered to us when he ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit isn't a spooky ghost or something that turns you into a crazy person. The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us - sent to help us - while we are fulfilling our mission here on earth. I'm not going to include all of the ways the Holy Spirit can function in our lives (and trust me, there are more than I could say) but I would like to share with you how He wants to provide us with very practical help in our everyday lives.
Ephesians 5:18,19 says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." The word "be" in this verse actually means to "be being" filled, as in something that happens more than once. If someone wants to get drunk, they will drink as much alcohol as it takes to get there, and the first step is to open up their MOUTH. But if they want to stay in that drunken state, then they must CONTINUE opening their mouth and drinking, right? The same is true with us as Christians who are filled with the Spirit. We must open up our mouths - praising Him for who He is, thanking Him for what He has done (and will do) and declaring His Word over our lives - AND we must continually yield and be obedient to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis in order to stay filled up!
Smith Wigglesworth said, "Your only safeguard from dropping back into your natural mind, in which you can receive nothing from the Lord, is to be filled and filled again with the Holy Spirit." I have found this to be infinitely true in my own life. How many times have we enjoyed anointed teaching on Sunday morning but by Wednesday, we're being short with our husband or inpatient with our kids? Because we leak, the answer is to "be being" filled: to pray without ceasing, to daily renew our minds according to the Word, to stay in close fellowship with the Father!
I have a friend who has a contagious zest for living the Spirit-filled life. I love hearing her tell stories of how the Holy Spirit leads her in the big matters of life and also in the smaller things. As she was heading out the door one day, the Holy Spirit prompted her to put a red crayon in her purse. I'm sure she thought this was an odd instruction, but she did it. (Many times we need to bypass our own reasoning, and just be obedient!) Later on, she was eating at a restaurant, and there was a kid at the table next to her screaming and throwing a fit because they didn't have a red crayon. Since she listened earlier, she was able to provide much needed, well-timed help for that kid...and for that mom! While that might seem insignificant to you, it's a fun, practical example of how God wants to lead us in our daily decisions and how He wants to use us to be a blessing to those around us.
When you're driving a car, you can't just go wherever you want, whenever you want. You must YIELD. If you pull out into oncoming traffic, you could get into a serious accident that doesn't just affect you but could cause harm to others too. In the same way, it's our job as Christians to yield to the Holy Spirit - to heed His instructions and submit. When we do, we keep ourselves safely on the perfect path God has for us. This not only brings life and blessing to us but also to those around us that we are called to minister to.
God wants the best for us, just like we want the best for our own kids. His desire is always for us to be growing and changing, going from glory to glory, and continually becoming more like Him. If we're going to do that, we must be Holy Spirit FILLED and Holy Spirit LED. Purpose in your heart to take that step of faith and obey the Holy Spirit today...it's a decision you won't regret!