Francis writes, "When it comes down to it, many of us do not really want to be led by the Holy Spirit. Or, more fundamentally, many of us don't want to be led by anyone other than ourselves. The whole idea of giving up control (or the delusion of it) is terrifying, isn't it? Do you thrive on controlling the big and small in your life? Does the thought of letting go and listening to the Spirit's guidance scare you and only make you cling tighter to what you think you have?"
We have some friends who have wholeheartedly followed the Holy Spirit. They amaze me! They have opened their home to orphans. They have left the country they know and love to follow God in a far-away land. They have left the comforts of lucrative jobs for living a life of service. And today I learned they are again listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and adopting another child who would otherwise have no family, no future, no Jesus.
These people are more than Christians who believe in Christ and go to church on Sundays. These are people who are Christ-like.
Francis explains, "When people give their lives to God in exchange for a ticket out of hell, there is often no turning or change of direction, which is the definition of repentance. If all you want is a little Jesus to 'spiritualize' you life, a little extra God to keep you out of hell, you are missing out on the fullness of life you were created for.
He continues, "Not only this, you don't need the Holy Spirit. You don't need the Holy Spirit if you are merely seeking to live a semi-moral life and attend church regularly. You can find people of all sorts in many religions doing that quite nicely without Him. You only need the Holy Spirit's guidance and help if you truly want to follow the Way of Jesus Christ. You only need Him if you desire to 'obey everything' He commanded and to teach others to do the same. You only need the Holy Spirit if you have genuinely repented and believe. And you only need the Holy Spirit if you understand that you are called to share in Christ's suffering and death, as well as His resurrection."
To experience the FULLNESS of what God has designed for life. Doesn't that sound amazing?
I think of our friend's 2 (soon-to-be 3) adopted children, born in a country where God is silenced. Born with minor external differences that would have left them shunned by their culture, possibly begging on the streets surviving one day to the next. Now, because the Holy Spirit is guiding their lives and they've listened, these three children are in a loving Christ-centered home. They have sisters and a big brother. They are surrounded by love and family. They are getting a wonderful education and they will have a blessed future.
Today, I'm asking the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives. To map out the course of our day. I want to value those things God values and have it evident in my life. More than by word, but by action.