Sunday, August 21, 2011

Making the Complex Simple

Church has, quite literally, always been a part of my life - an integral part of my life. I have attended several different churches over the years, from the little country church pictured above to the mega-church we now attend.

The personalities of the Pastors of these churches were as varied as their size, and God has used each one to touch my life in unique ways. My current Pastor's name is Robert - the very first one who prefers to be called by his given name. It is, perhaps, an indication of the gift we treasure in him. He has a God-given ability to take the complex and make it simple. It is no small thing to struggle over some deep spiritual question and then have it put into terms that make it suddenly clear.

Last night in church Robert said he was going to sum up the work of the Holy Spirit for us in one simple sentence:

"Everything that makes God real and personal to you is the work of the Holy Spirit."

Deep sigh of relief. To say that at one time I struggled with this would be an understatement. Without going too deeply into it all, suffice it to say that some people's views on what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit nearly destroyed my faith. I was left feeling inadequate - and something of a spiritual failure.

How simple to read John 14:15-17; 16:12-15 and learn what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit - that He guides us into truth, brings peace,  reveals Jesus to us, and so much more. When I hear a Christian song and the hair on the back of my neck stands up and my skin is all goose-bumpy, it is the Holy Spirit. When I read the Bible, and the words jump off the page and right into my heart, it is the Holy Spirit. When someone needs encouragement and I somehow find the right words, it is the Holy Spirit. He brings different gifts into each life and there is no "one size fits all" way to measure His work.

I need never worry about having enough of Him. I am filled and refilled daily. All I have to do is ask. He will never leave me; I am sealed for all eternity.

Miraculous thought - I walk around in this far less than perfect body, filled with the Spirit of the One who is perfect in every way. I read someplace that we have all of the Spirit we will ever need. The question is, how much of me does He have.

Joining Michelle for Hear It On Sunday. Use It On Monday.



  1. Your pastor sounds like a great man of God...and God wanted you to hear those words.
    I just read about your back operation..amazing what they can do. Glad it worked for you.
    By the kids always shush me when the are in the room and I get a cell phone call. But hey...I have heard plenty of young people talk loud enough for the whole room to hear (o:

  2. Linda, this was perfect!! The Christian songs, the Bible revealed, all because the Holy Spirit dwells within us.

    I've also been in church all my life, the last fifty years in one I don't totally agree with, but I "married into it". I just go ahead and study with a wonderful teacher online and grit my teeth sometimes. :) I can still worship.

  3. "Everything that makes God real and personal to you is the work of the Holy Spirit." What a beautiful, simple and perfect sentence. I love it. The Holy Spirit works in amazing ways. Such a beautiful post Linda!

  4. This really is a sweet and
    true post, Linda. It's so
    true that without the Holy
    Spirit we would not be able
    to have the joy of getting
    to know the Lord. He is the
    one who reveals Him to us.

  5. I'm thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit these days, and this post helps me grow more in my understanding of how the HS works. Thank you, Linda!

  6. We once went looking for a church and one Sunday morning I found myself in the lobby of a movie theater, surrounded by pastries and lots of people. A nice guy in shorts walked over and introduced himself to me. "I'm Brian," he said. And he hung around for a minute or two, meeting my children and taking an interest. Later, when I was settled in my movie theater seat - after the band had rocked out for a few minutes - the pastor hopped on stage. You guessed it: Brian. In shorts. Easy going. Sincere. Breaking the Word down in to pieces I could manage. Perfectly timed for that season in my life...

  7. Hi Linda!
    All we have to do is ask. So often I run around trying to solve, fix and re-invent...
    So often, in fact, every time ~ I just need to ask...
    most often ~ it's the condition of my heart that needs His Grace ♥
    Thank you so much for your beautiful teaching, Linda*
    ps. Thank you so much for stopping by to offer help to my sister's store name ~ I love your suggestion of "everything to celebrate." That's wonderful!
    How are you doing with the heat? Jason had to drive to Amarillo for work. He said it's 105 today. Thinking of you in Texas!

  8. Thank you for the advice to 'stand still and let God move.' It is all so true. He is the one fighting the battles for us.
    We have to be so careful judging the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. Not only are we sinning, but we are casting doubt and conditions where they should not be. The Holy Spirit works in all our lives if we have asked him in.

  9. What a powerful message! Thanks for sharing it and reminding me of the Holy Spirit's role in my life.

  10. The HS works in so many different ways. Your gentle words are always a blessing.

  11. Also thanking God for the powerful way the Spirit of God moves within us.

    May you have an abundant amount of His presence!

  12. Hey Linda, Just wanted to let you know I featured your post over at my place today

  13. That last thought gets me, Linda. How much of me does the Spirit have? There's a reality to quenching the Spirit just like we must walk by the Spirit. I fear that I don't yield often enough-yet there's grace for that, too.

    Your pastor sounds like a gem!

  14. thank you for sharing this.I needed to hear that "there is no "one size fits all" way to measure His work." I love your examples of how the Holy Spirit moves in your life and how great that we have all the Spirit we will ever need.

  15. What wonderful words. Yes, the Holy Spirit works in us in ways that we sometimes don't even realize. I was intrigued by your statement about some views on the Holy Spirit nearly destroying your faith. I have a similar story. Thank God for the truth of His word and His spirit teaching us through it. Blessings to you. :)