The Holy Spirit as a Helper

There was a time this year when I was at the end of myself. I had cried until I had nothing left to cry. I felt hopeless and weak, wishing I could disappear from all my problems. It was late at night and I was in my bed, laying there helplessly. I prayed for strength and fell asleep. In the morning, I woke with a spring in my step! I felt the presence of God inside of me and I had a strength and determination about me! It was like chalk and cheese comparing the morning to the night before.

I realised that day that God deeply cares for me and sees me in my weakness, helping me when I cannot help myself. The Holy Spirit taught me to trust in him, even when everything seems unlikely, even impossible. The Bible explains some of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics in John 14 and Romans 8:

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:26 NLT

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Romans 8:26 NLT

The Holy Spirit will often remind us of truths we already know of, but don’t understand in our heart. I have found that when I read something, it doesn’t stick with me until it lands in my heart. Getting something from my head to my heart is hard by myself, but with the “helper”, the Holy Spirit, I am reminded of the truths in God’s word at crucial times when I need it most.

The best part of all is how the Holy Spirit is given to us permanently, and lives inside of us. I often hear him speak like a still small voice of wisdom. He always lifts me up when I am down, and always encourages me when I am weak. In the morning after my night of despair, I felt the presence of God so powerfully! The Holy Spirit truly lives inside of us as 1 Corinthians 6 says:

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

1 Corinthians 6:19

I want to encourage you to listen to him when you are feeling low. He truly cares about you and will help in times of trouble. The Bible promises this, and when God says something, he will be sure to fulfill his word.

Have a great week!

From Knowledge to Relationship

I was at home preparing for a bible study that met on a weekly basis when I realised I didn’t remember anything spoken at church on Sunday. I wanted to pass it off as being busy and having a lot of different things in my life leading to forgetfulness. However, there was a deeper underlying problem. A hint was that this happened regularly, almost every week. Was I not spiritual enough? Did I not care about God’s word? Why was I not focused at church? These kinds of questions floated around in my mind.

Here’s what I didn’t realise: I had more knowledge of God than a relationship with him. A hint of this was how I thought about him – I thought of him as God. I didn’t talk to my Father, Jesus or Holy Spirit. They were a distant God in my mind. If you asked me, I would have told you that of course God was close to me, but in reality he was not. Did I pray throughout the day? Did I talk with the Father? Did I listen carefully? Did I ask him questions? No. I did not.

I knew what God liked and disliked, but not because he was telling me directly. I knew everything I knew because of the Bible or church preaching. The Bible is incredibly powerful, but reading it without a relationship with the Father held back its power. When I read it, I assumed I was always in the right and every promise belonged to me. In the same way, every curse or rebuke was for ‘bad’ people… or something…

How wrong I was!

I was blind to the sin and idols in my heart because I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. Knowledge of him doesn’t give room for him to touch my heart and bring up the things I need to deal with. If only I had talked with him, asking him to reveal sin to be dealt with, I would have saved myself so much pain!

So, when did the change from knowledge to relationship happen? Well, it’s hard to give a date or time because it was more of a journey, but I can say for certain the process accelerated during a recent part of my life. When I was at the end of myself I forced, yes, forced myself into prayer like never before. I changed from praying 5 minutes per day (on a good day) to many hours each day.

Through my prayer times, my Father in heaven showed me many things about my heart and the mess that was inside. He also gently showed me what other people were feeling because of my actions. Wow. That wrecked me. I had no idea of just how much pain I had caused, especially to those closest to me. It still hits me as I write this, months later!

There is so much more to God than you can ever understand through teaching. The only way to truly understand God is to have a close relationship with Him and experience Him for yourself. His power and love are so life-changing, that if everyone were to experience them, the whole world would be changed in a single day.

I want to encourage you to press into prayer and worship. Spend time meditating on the Bible and switch off other voices such as video and text media. Your hearing will clear up significantly and you will draw closer and closer to your Father and experience greater measures of His love and favour in your life.

What are you filled with?

At around the age of 18, I went to one night of a youth camp. A guest speaker was preaching about being filled with God. Afterwards, I knelt for prayer and just started crying out to God, asking Him to fill me. As I was kneeling people began praying for me. The feeling of God filling me intensified. After a little time, I started to feel normal again and thought that must be it. I thought God filled me, but He had more. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said ‘Caleb if you want more, press in harder.’ I started praying again, and tears continued to flow even more freely. After repeating this process four or five times, I was a wreak. I looked terrible! (I know because I went to the bathroom after and looked in the mirror. I was shocked at how bad I looked!) I had given everything I had to God. At that time, I felt so close to God I could feel every little uncaring comment and each rude remark. I felt all my senses on high alert, each one pouring love. I have never felt closer to God all my life. There has never been a time before or after that has been even close.

How hungry are you? Are you willing to put everything out there? Are you ready to surrender everything to God and trust Him to fill you, or are you too busy? Do you want a life-changing experience, or are you comfortable with your current relationship with God?

Revelation 3:20 says ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.‘ In this verse, Jesus is talking. He desperately wants a relationship with you! Regardless of your current position with God, if you open your heart, even more, God will respond.