Holy Spirit, Come.
This is how I beg God to save me from myself, and to save others from me, for that matter. When a situation arises and I know that the only reaction I have in me is mean, prideful, and/or impatient, or I feel spontaneous combustion around the bend, I’m learning to stop and pray, “Holy Spirit, come.”
Here is the thing: as Christians we have a responsibility to be a good kind of different, especially when we are in positions of authority/leadership. This does not mean that we will get it right all the time. It could be really easy, and equally awful to throw my hands up and decide not to touch this subject because I’ve failed others with this in the past. But if I’ve learned anything it is that it is never too late to start walking in integrity. So how do we get there? How do we get to this place that Paul talks about in Philippians 2?
“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.” –Philippians 2:14-16 MSG
The how is with God’s help, with the Holy Spirit that lives in us. This is how we will be a good kind of different. Without it we are lost.
A breath of fresh air…I instantly see the faces of people in my life who have been just that! I wish I could say I’ve been that to more people. This piece of scripture is a tall order! Thankfully, I don’t get this wrong ALL the time, but I sincerely want to get it right much more than I currently do. It does not end with, “except when someone really annoys you” or “unless you are having a bad day”. It does not contain a list of exceptions, period. The Bible tells us what evidence should be visible in our walk and character here:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! –Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
Think for a second about the people in your life, home, work, and church, whether they are just an acquaintance or someone close to you. Would they be able to attest to seeing the fruit of the Spirit in you? I don’t ask the question to invoke guilt or shame. And I certainly am not asking you to hone in on that rare incident you want to torture yourself over. I’m asking you to look at recurring themes in your relationships and life. Is there a theme of love and kindness? Or is there a trail of hurt that is easy to write off as other people’s fault? If you are anything like me, this is the part where you want to click that little red X at the top right hand corner of the screen and move on to a subject that doesn’t require one to deal with self-examination. I bid you adieu. If you are not like me and are still reading this, I’m so glad you are still here!
Can we be honest with ourselves and admit that every one of us has room to grow when it comes to walking out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control? The Bible does not say that the Holy Spirit produces some of these things in us, it should produce all of these in us! People should see these in us as a whole, but sadly many of us are falling way too short of this. People may look at us and write us off because of our actions, but thank goodness God allows us the grace to keep growing. Will you ask God to help you turn your heart to Him, and be ready and willing to do the work required when He responds?
Holy Spirit, come. Father, we ask that we would experience the fullness of joy that comes from being marked by you. We ask that you strengthen our integrity and help us to not miss another opportunity to display how we are a good kind of different because of your work in our hearts. Let those in our lives be able to testify to the change taking place in us, and that they would know you as the source of anything good in our lives. Amen!