Section 5: The Holy Spirit
Week 1: The Holy Spirit’s Nature
Day 5: What Should We Expect from the Holy Spirit?
When Jesus ascended back to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to be with us until he returned. But do we really expect the Holy Spirit to do anything? That’s an important question because our expectations play a vital role in our faith. When we expect God to act, we look for specific ways he’s working in our lives. And when we can point to specific things God is doing, we gain a tangible sense of his presence. However that sense of God’s presence diminishes when we don’t expect him to act because we’re less likely to be paying attention. At best, we’re left with a vague sense that he is at work in some way. But a vague sense of his work leads to a vague sense of his presence.
I Needed to Expect More from God
Earlier I shared how the Holy Spirit used the convergence of three lessons to help me gain a proper perspective when I feel like things are out of control in my life. I would have missed those connections, if I hadn’t been paying attention.
Why was I paying attention? Well, I had been convicted by the things I was studying at the time for another project. I realized my bible reading had become mechanical. I had fallen into the trap of reading the bible just so I could check it off my to-do list. I wasn’t really expecting God to use that time to impact my life in any significant way. But I realized, if I genuinely believe God is present in my life, then I ought to expect him to do something. So I committed to paying more attention. That’s why I was able to make those connections. Expecting God to act helped me to notice it when he did.
Don’t Be Like Me
What does that have to do with you? No doubt I missed out on opportunities to see God’s work in my life more clearly because I wasn’t expecting enough from him. You can avoid that pitfall though.
Direct TV used to have a commercial that went something like this:
When you can’t find something good to watch on cable, you get depressed. When you get depressed, you go to seminars. When you go to seminars, you feel like a winner. When you feel like a winner, you go to Vegas. When you go to Vegas, you lose everything. When you lose everything, you sell your hair to a wig shop. Don’t sell your hair to a wig shop…get rid of cable.
The lesson here is similar: When you don’t expect the Holy Spirit to do something in your life, you miss out on opportunities to see God’s work in your life. When you miss out on opportunities to see God’s work in your life, you fail to experience God’s presence to the fullest, like Phil. Don’t be like Phil…Expect more from God.
In general, how often are you able to point to specific ways God is working in your life? What specifically has God done in your life in the last week? In the last month? In the last year?
Commit to paying more attention to God’s work in your life.