We are continuing to read along in Christine Hoover’s latest book, From Good to Grace. If you haven’t picked up a copy to join with us, it’s not too late to start today!
In the second part of the book, we’re looking at what we receive from God, and in chapter five, we are specifically looking at receiving His help.
Christine admits, “I’ve realized that forcing things is my tendency in relation to God. To show him my dedication and determination, I want to immediately respond. I want to be instantly spiritually mature, and I’ll make list after list of how I plan to get myself there. I don’t want to sit still to receive like Mary; I want to run around honoring Jesus with my service like Martha. As a result, I live in the mode of sheer panic and frenzy, overanalyzing and overstriving. It’s no wonder I am obsessed with being good.”
Wow, can I relate. Whether in ministry or in my home, I am drawn to to-do lists. I want to be able to check things off, see my progress, know that I am on the right road to reach my destination.
Why do we act like this? Christine nails it on the head – fear and control.
“There is a wild, unruly aspect of identifying with Christ because we must set down the easily calculated checklist of the law and follow Someone whom we can’t see and often can’t feel and whom we all the time have trouble wrapping our minds around. Also, in identifying with Christ, we’re asked to do and be things that are impossible.”
But here’s the good news: “God gives us what we need to live the Christian life, and he gives it in the form of himself. He dwells inside the believer and, if we allow him to, lives the Christian life for us!”
Jesus told us, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” John 16:7
Christine outlines several truths for us about the Holy Spirit:
- Our help comes from the Holy Spirit. God has not left us to flounder on our own. He provides the means through Himself for us to live as He calls us to live.
- We can ask for His help and know that He is trustworthy. I absolutely love this truth: “Relying on the Holy Spirit isn’t loosey-goosey stuff. He is God, not a power to be manipulated according to our will and desires or for our emotional benefit. He is a Helper given by God; he is God himself helping us in our daily lives. He knows what he’s doing. We can rely on him.”
- We recognize His leadership. The Holy Spirit is specific and clear in the ways that He leads us. He never works contrary to Scripture. We are never left to wonder if this is really God.
- Practicing spiritual disciplines opens the door to the work of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading and prayer are not just items to check off our to-do list (and, yes, I’ve been there, done that, too). They are tools that help us respond to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
- We respond by following His lead.“The Holy Spirit may lead you in some exciting ways. He may open doors and relationships to you that give you great opportunities to share the gospel and impact lives. Or he may not. He may ask you to continue doing what you’re doing, even if it’s unseen faithfulness he’s asking for.”
Christine clearly states our purpose in life: “Our goal is to respond to God’s leadership.” We do this by receiving the help God gives us through the Holy Spirit, at work each day in our lives.
Do you struggle with giving God complete control of your life? Do you find your to-dos and should-dos overwhelm the grace offered through Jesus? How can you actively receive the help the Holy Spirit offers you today?
Published July 20, 2015