April 13, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Joyce Lee, Gracepoint Austin

John 16:5-7

The disciples were “filled with grief” because Jesus was going away, but Jesus tells them that the coming of the Counselor (i.e. the Holy Spirit) would be better.  Why does Jesus say this? Jesus says this because since He is with them physically, He is only able to be at one place at once.  He is physically limited in terms of people that He can minister to.  But when the Holy Spirit comes, He is able to be at all times and in all places.  It says in the commentary that the Holy Spirit would “equip them for a wider and more potent ministry.”

What are some things I need to let go of even while grieving its loss because I need to move onto the greater good that God intends? One thing that I need to let go of is my immature way of view of myself. The way that I view myself as not being able to offer or contribute much, not having necessary talents or skills, which really sabotages me from experiencing the greater good of being able to be a source of blessing for others.   It’s an attitude that I need to keep laying down before God, as I’ve been seeing more and more that it hinders me from growing as a spiritual mother for the people under me, and also from taking more ownership over our church.  In light of reading book regarding the reality of spiritual warfare, I recognize that I really need to fully play my part and role that God has given me in this battle to build up the church, to battle spiritual battle for myself, and for others.  And that means I need to let go of my notion that I can’t contribute much, and not allow that to be a convenient excuse for not taking more ownership over the ministry and our church.  This is not even something that I would grieve its loss about because I know that it’s something that I should and want to let go from my life.  I see how God really desires to shape and mature me into a person who can be a spiritual mother for others, and a person who can be a strength and encouragement, and so I want to commit to just have an attitude of willingness to take on whatever I need to, to just be faithful with what God asks of me, and experience God’s work in and through my life.

John 16:8-15

What will the work of the Holy Spirit be, and how have I experienced these things? The work of the Holy Spirit will be to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.  He also will guide people into all truth.  He will tell what is yet to come, and make known what Jesus knew.  I have been experiencing this work of the Holy Spirit working powerfully in our midst our here in Austin, as in this past week, we had 10 people make salvation/lordship decisions!  I know that it has been the work of the Holy Spirit because with each person, there was so much struggle.  I saw how some of them were just filled with fear regarding “giving up” their lives for Christ.  Others of them had doubts and questions regarding whether they can fully trust Jesus.  Another student had doubts regarding Jesus’ identity. In addition, there were students that just didn’t seem very interested last semester, but somehow through taking Course 101, they were so convicted by each of the sessions, and experienced being convicted by their own sinfulness, and need for God.   I realize that no matter how much I try to get someone to understand their sins, their need for God, I really am powerless to actually change their hearts.  It is only the work of the Holy Spirit, convicting them, guiding people into truth.

This teaches me to never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit, and what He can do in a person’s heart and life.  That means that I need to not approach people cynically, having my own judgments regarding them, their spiritual interest, hunger, or even just trying with my own strength and wisdom to reason with them, but really do the work of praying for them.  In light of the spiritual battle, I see that this isn’t something that I can battle on my own, running around, and trying to talk and meet up with students by my own strength, but I need to engage in prayer for others – praying that the Holy Spirit would work in their hearts, that He would convict them of their sins, convict them regarding areas in their lives they need to bring before God, that the Holy Spirit would guide them into truth so that they are not living in delusion regarding themselves.

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