I’ve been super negative lately. I feel like I’ve been less than encouraging and I am sorry for that. You don’t come here for me to rant about my extended family. Or my buying sprees. (To be fair, I took a lot of it back and am trying to be transparent about that.)
I may have an ulcer and that means another pill added to my regime. I’ve been throwing up randomly and everyone from L to my parents to Mr. Malakoa have been urging me to go to the doctor. When I added my symptoms together it was clear that I at least have something resembling an ulcer. More tests next week and then they’ll have an official diagnosis. Whatever.
Do I need another pill? Do I need to throw up randomly? Do I need acid reflux to burn through my esophagus? An ulcer is no joke. All the vomiting is annoying and painful and random I am sick of the reflux. Aurgh.
I didn’t read my Bible for a few days. I tell myself I don’t want to become too “religious” or “ritualistic.” Maybe it’s just an excuse and I’m lazy. I think it’s okay, but I know that I miss out. I have been praying, mostly asking for things like to find a bottle of medicine. God likes to hear from me. He wants me to pray without ceasing. Interestingly enough he doesn’t ask us to read the Bible without ceasing. But that is really no excuse. Bible study is really important. My old pastor told us more than once that the people who lose track of their relationship with God usually have given up on Bible study. I do not want to give up.
I heard an awesome message from the same pastor. He shared with us that in the Bible the “Word”, that is the Bible does everything that the Holy Spirit does. The book of John begins, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God.” Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” If they both are true, and I believe they are, the Bible becomes even more important. The beginning holds the Word and thousands of years later the act of creation is confirmed.
What does that have to do with us? We have access to the Trinity as the Magis of old. We have more blessed faith than even the disciples. To grow, we need to read the Bible. Not “I” need to read the Bible, “we” need to read the Bible.
This is taken from John Kankerburg’s website. (I don’t know the guy but this looked pretty good.)
What are some of the activities of the Holy Spirit as “helper or comforter?” Let me suggest several to you and include Scriptural references for you to study. More certainly could be added, but these are the basics.
1. He guides us into all truth. John 16:13—”But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth for He will not speak on His own initiative but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” The role of the Holy Spirit is to show us that we are sinners and to point us to, and guide us to, a clear understanding of who Jesus Christ is, leading us to a commitment to Him. He also helps us to understand God’s Word and its application in our lives. Notice: He is the “Spirit of Truth” and will only reveal truth to us.
2. He assures us that we are God’s children.Romans 8:16—”The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” It’s like having an eternal, binding contract with God that the Holy Spirit seals, confirming that we are secure in our family relationship with the Father.
3. He gives us hope. Romans 15:13—”Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The expression “the God of Hope” means the God who inspires hope and imparts it to His children. He can be counted on to fulfill what still remains to be accomplished in us. He is not finished with us!
4. He strengthens us. Ephesians 3:16—Paul tells us to be “strengthened with the power through the Spirit in the inner man.” The strengthening of the inner person comes when Christ takes up His permanent residence in us. So the secret of strength is the presence of Christ in our lives. Christ desires to bring us His strength if we will let Him. To be honest, there are times when I feel weak, and I ask the Lord to be strength through me and He has always provided that needed strength.
5. He equips us to serve others. Ephesians 4:11 & 12—”And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” The role of the Holy Spirit is to equip us for the work that we have been called to do in God’s Kingdom. For example: some can sing in the choir, or teach preschoolers, help keep the church clean, go out on visitation, participate in short-term mission trips, etc. I know that God has given each of us one or more gifts to be used in the work of the Kingdom. It is up to each one of us to discover our gifts then use them in “the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”
If my old pastor’s ideas are correct, and I believe that they are, all of these things can be given to us by the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God. I don’t think that is the only way that we have access to the Holy Spirit. Prayer can draw His power to work in us. When Jesus promises that “I will never leave you or forsake you” He is talking about the Holy Spirit. That is why asking Him to “be with us” is a silly prayer. He is already with us. (Or she, if you’d rather, I think this is ambiguous, I can’t recall a time that the Holy Spirit was identified as a masculine deity – I have heard compelling arguments both ways.)
So, all that said, there is really no good reason we shouldn’t read the Bible if we expect God to work in us. There are chapters in the Bible that command singing and dancing before the Lord, and that gives me great joy. I ask Him to be pleased with me in all that I do. I have said before that I don’t want to read the Bible when I’m cycling because I don’t want to worship a wacky substitution of God, I want to worship the “real” God. As I consider this, I am not so sure it’s a good idea. When I am sick, especially with mental illnesses or other chronic illnesses, I think it’s a good idea to be throwing myself at God’s feet and asking for blessings and wisdom. There is nothing wrong with asking for healing, but that is just not on my heart right now. I have other priorities and I believe that God has other priorities for my walk and life right now. I also think it is extremely important to go to church or small groups, if you are able. I’ve heard several couples, with marriages crumbling, that don’t go to church if unless things are perfect at home. Unless it is clear that your church shoots their wounded, I would go anyway. I was having a miscarriage and decided to go to church anyway. I sat in the back row and cried silently through the service. As I went to pick up Small on the way out I had a great surprise. An old friend who I hadn’t seen in years and years was there. She looked at me and asked, directly, “Have you had a miscarriage?” She told me about her three miscarriages. She had such trouble she was admitted to the hospital. It must have been horrible, much worse than what I was feeling or had experienced. She wasn’t comparing our pain, though. She ministered to me greatly. If I had stayed home, I never would have been so blessed.
I also have an awful story about the time I went to Women’s Bible Study after my grandma died. But that same study I had a friend speak words of healing to me. It’s as crap shoot, but I think it’s awfully worth it. We aren’t supposed to be alone in our troubles.
All that to say, I know that there are many folks here that consider themselves to be atheist or agnostics. If you don’t already know, I welcome you here with joy. I do love hearing from you and understand that you don’t get a whole lot from my explicitly Biblical posts. That said, I hope you continue on to read and hope I encourage you and even teach you through all that has happened to me in my life and how I believe God has worked.