Today’s Our Daily Bread talks about waiting on the Spirit and not relying on our own efforts…
During the discussion of a book on the Holy Spirit written by a ninety-four-year-old German theologian named Jürgen Moltmann, an interviewer asked him: “How do you activate the Holy Spirit? Can you take a pill? Do the pharmaceutical companies [deliver the Spirit]?” Moltmann’s bushy eyebrows shot up. Shaking his head, he grinned, answering in accented English. “What can I do? Don’t do anything. Wait on the Spirit, and the Spirit will come.”
Moltmann highlighted our mistaken belief that our energy and expertise make things happen. Acts reveals that God makes things happen. At the start of the church, it had nothing to do with human strategy or impressive leadership. Rather, the Spirit arrived “like the blowing of a violent wind” into a room of frightened, helpless, and bewildered disciples (2:2). Next, the Spirit shattered all ethnic superiorities by gathering people who were at odds into one new community. The disciples were as shocked as anyone to see what God was doing within them. They didn’t make anything happen; “the Spirit enabled them” (v. 4).
The church—and our shared work in the world—isn’t defined by what we can do. We’re entirely dependent on what only the Spirit can do. This allows us to be both bold and restful. On this day—the day we celebrate Pentecost—may we wait for the Spirit and respond.
God, I’ve exhausted myself by believing that I must make things happen. Holy Spirit, come and help me. In Jesus name, Amen
I read this story today and it got me reflecting on small changes…
“Will I make the Olympics? The college swimmer worried her speed was too slow. But when math professor Ken Ono studied her swim techniques, he saw how to improve her time by six full seconds—a substantial difference at that level of competition. Attaching sensors to the swimmer’s back, he didn’t identify major changes to improve her time. Instead, Ono identified tiny corrective actions that, if applied, could make the swimmer more efficient in the water, making the winning difference.”
Small corrective actions in spiritual matters can make a big difference for us too. I can remember when I decided to do my devotions first thing in the morning. A small change, but it focussed my mind of godly things to start the day.
Another small thing I added is go for a prayer walk up our rock when I am really thinking through things. It just gives me space and time to walk and talk with God. Often the answer will come on those walks, but if it doesn’t I know I have thought through it with God.
Small things can make a difference. Like the sailing boat in the picture, sometimes it is about making a small adjustment to the sails, rather than buying a new sail that can make all the difference to the journey.
I wonder if you have small changes you can make that will make you grow spiritually?
Today’s WordPress question is about being involved in the community. This is a simple one to answer for me – I go to church.
Some people might not consider going to church as being involved in the community. But in a small country town it is. You get to know people of all different ages, backgrounds and nationalities, you get to share lives and you hear of needs in the community.
In a small country town churches are often involved in the community projects. There is always something going on. Our churches have food parcel help, help with free furniture, run youth groups and we have an overnight shelter. These are just some of the things we can help with.
So for me getting involved in my community starts with church. If I moved to a small country town again I would start by visiting the local churches.
In Isaiah 12 he offers his personal hymn of praise. It is a great description of the joy the people will have when Jesus Christ comes to reign over the earth.
Rather that providing reflections on this passage, I will just let you read it for yourself…
Isaiah 12:1-6 NLT  In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O LORD! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me.  See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.”  With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!  In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the LORD! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is!  Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world.  Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”
Someone asked me the other day, “Do you want to live forever and be really old?” We were talking about health, exercise and eating. My answer sort of surprised them.
I want to live a good long life, but more importantly I want to live the exact amount of days God wants me to live. That might be until I am 60, 80 or more.
I just want to exercise, eat good food and be healthy until God calls me home. I want to look after my family, serve God and keep growing until my time comes.
You see I really believe in eternal life. I believe we will all live for eternity. This is what we were created to do. Some of it is in this life we know now and most of it in the next life with Christ.
Life and death is really a win win. We have the gift of this life to live, love and serve God and we have the next life in eternity with Christ. Some of us will spend 60, 80 or more years here, then go to be with Him.
So yes I want to live forever. Some in this life, but most in the next with Christ.