Sep 10, 2012
I’m going to tell you about how the Holy Spirit worked in my heart Thursday.
But I’m hesitant — because this could give you the wrong idea.
You could think that–
- I have experiences like this all the time (I don’t);
- I am more holy than I am (I constantly battle sin and dulness of heart);
- I am trying to impress you (I’m not free from that — but it’s not what’s mostly in my heart).
But I’m going to share this story because it might —
- strengthen your faith in what God can do;
- encourage you with how the Holy Spirit can change hearts;
- help you understand more about how the Holy Spirit works.
Here’s what happened
Thursday afternoon I took some time to pray.
I wasn’t feeling particularly spiritual. But I went ahead and followed my usual practice — starting with earnest prayer for more of the Spirit’s work in my life.
I prayed that God would increase the work of His Spirit in me — asking for stronger faith, more wisdom, conviction of sin, and power in witness.
And then —
For some reason I started dwelling on the last part of Galatians 2:20 —
The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
I focused particularly on those last nine words —
… who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
That’s a glorious truth — that in spite of my sin, Jesus Christ loved me and gave Himself up for me by dying on the Cross.
But I wasn’t feeling it.
So I prayed for the Spirit’s work to help me see it clearly and feel it deeply.
Then I pondered — who is this who loved me and gave Himself up for me?
Here’s what I thought —
Jesus — the Son of God — loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Jesus — who existed from eternity past with no beginning — loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Jesus — through whom everything was created — loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Jesus — for whom everything was created — loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Jesus — God Himself — loved me and gave Himself up for me.
The Holy Spirit worked.
I saw it — felt it — knew it.
The glory of infinite-God-in-the-flesh — loving a rebel — giving Himself up for a rebel.
At that moment I understood more of His love maybe than ever before — a love of pure mercy, unstoppable power, breathtaking beauty.
And I knew — He loved me on the Cross. He loves me now. He will love me forever.
And as a result —
I was secure. Fully at peace. Completely satisfied.
But then —
That work of the Spirit lessened.
Those powerful feelings died away.
But — I had been changed.
My knowledge of Jesus’ love was deeper, my trust in Him was firmer, my love for Him was stronger.
Never let your present heart dulness discourage you about what the Holy Spirit can do. He can transform any heart (Luk 18:27).
Pray for more of the Spirit’s work — like Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers (Eph 1:16-17).
The Word is the sword the Spirit uses to cut away lukewarmness, so think and pray deeply over specific verses (Eph 6:17).
Don’t depend on feelings which change — depend on the truth of God’s Word which never changes (Isa 40:8).
But don’t settle for lack of feelings — ask and think and press on to know the Lord feelingly. He will come. He promises (Hos 6:3).
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
How George Whitefield read God's Word
Sarah Edwards' Experience of God
A surprising outpouring of God's love
(Picture is from everystockphoto by lumix2004.)