We applaud those who recently got baptized. Baptism is the affirmation of our faith, and the challenge to live a Spirit filled life. I cannot claim it is easy, but the Holy Spirit is available because Jesus made the promise (Jn 14:25-27). Many live by God’s principles, and although this is good; we are called to move deeper, and live in a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Over the years, I have grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30), and on many occasions succumb to personal selfishness above what is right. The challenge is to get up again, and follow the Lord. The Holy Spirit started our relationship many years ago, and I have observed two things in this relationship:
- He takes great pleasure in me reading the Bible. He glorifies Jesus
- He likes it when I converse with Him
It takes approximately 80 hours to read the whole Bible and I think this is a good discipline. But for many, this is too difficult, especially if you are just starting. So I encourage beginners to read the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There are too many Christians who are dwelling in other books or using “paraphrased bibles” instead of making the main text (the Bible), the main text. Nothing wrong in reading other books (I do all the time), but not at the expense of shelving the Bible, the real deal. I have my Bible on my smart phone as well, but it is not the same as the Book.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…”
How do we converse with the Holy Spirit? For me, it is about learning how the Holy Spirit responds to you. Naturally this is ongoing with new things to discover. If you take no time to converse with the Holy Spirit, it is unlikely that you will find any change in your relationship. Many say to me that they can’t hear God. Let me suggest; instead of doing your next holiday in your normal fashion, make your holiday with the purpose of hearing the Holy Spirit. Find a tranquil place, slow down, take your Bible, read some Psalms and you’ll soon discover the Holy Spirit has more to say. For me it is impressions, and most important is the presence of His peace. This is unmistakably God, the Holy Spirit. I also get the sense of His assurance and the overwhelming joy of His forgiveness and grace, and much more.
“Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.”