Running On Empty – and Spirit-Filled

How do you know when the Holy Spirit is working in your life?

  • you have incredible dreams and visions
  • you’ve given up on all your old sins and are temptation-free.  Things you’ve wrestled with in the past are completely resolved
  • you know you’re exactly where God wants you to be and doing precisely what he wants you to do
  • you’ve never felt closer to God
  • others look to you as an example of faith and strength.
  • you go to a church that talks about the Spirit and you’re certain kind of Christian.

These things might be true.  But they might not…

  • you might never have experienced a supernatural encounter with God or other amazing signs or wonders. This doesn’t mean He’s not at work. His power isn’t reserved only for huge miracles. It’s in the tiny things too, like having patience with an elderly relative or serving behind the scenes. If you trust in Jesus, he’s in you.
  • you can feel far from God  but still have His Spirit. Think of a marriage relationship.  There’ll be honeymoon times, but also times where it’s hard work. But you’re still married, even if you’re not feeling it. The Holy Spirit doesn’t come and go. If you trust Jesus, He’s with you all the way.
  • you might be wrestling with sins you feel you ought to have left behind.  But the fact that you are wrestling shows that the Spirit is at work.
  • you might feel unsure of where you are or what direction the Lord has for your life. That’s ok.  The Spirit knows. And He doesn’t always tell us! But this often produces more faith in us; because faith is hoping and trusting even when our senses might say ‘don’t.’
  • you might feel like you’re the world’s worst believer (so did Paul!) and want to be different. But one of the ways the Spirit works is to make us more conscious of our sin. And this is part of how He changes us. He’s not just for super-Christians. He’s in every Christian.
  • you might feel utterly exhausted and at the end of your rope. This is where the Spirit starts to work.  And think of Elijah — an incredibly Spirit-filled man; but equally full when he was face down in a cave as when he was triumphing over false prophets.
  • you might feel like you’re running on empty even as you are filled with Christ! That’s because we still have Adam’s flesh and suffer within Adam’s world. One day we’ll have Spiritual bodies and a Spirit-perfected world where even the deserts will bloom. But until then…

We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)


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