Monday, October 02, 2006

the Comforter

I finally am starting to feel "normal" again. I made sure yesterday I honored the sabbath by lying on the couch, not answering phone calls, napping periodically and going to bed early. I was able to start the day at the break like I usually do without feeling washed out, jumping right into prayer and study. Many things are happening now and I was anxious to talk to my Father about those things, plus the slips, the mishaps, the yesss! moments, the failures and the good fortunate to have a God who never tires of hearing from us. I began my study and reading really ready to hear, and it seems like the ones I am doing now are working together to heighten my awareness of God's working in my life, the life of friends and family, and the world at large. In the sermon yesterday our pastor recounted the story of Elisha, who by the Spirit of God was told all the secrets of the enemy Syrian army, which he then related to the king of Israel (gee, I wish he was around now!). The Syrian king got so frustrated and angry at Elisha he sent his army after ONE MAN to Dothan. Meanwhile Elisha and his servant pitched their tent there, both from full knowledge and one from blissful ignorance. When the servant peered out from the tent, he saw the whole Syrian army outside...and had sort of a panic attack! I can just see him, white as a ghost, trembling and pointing, trying to get Elisha's attention. When Elisha looked out, he told his servant not fear, and prayed that God would open the man's eyes. When that happened, the servant saw the heavens filled with a spiritual army of angels in chariots of fire. Every time I read that story or hear it chills just run down my spine. Elisha told the man, those that are for us are greater than those against us.

So much said with so few word....those that are for us...actually, He that is for us is greater than any who are against us. I have to remember this. I am reading primarily about the Holy Spirit, and His ministry in us and in the world. The primary result of Jesus' death and resurrection for believers outside of our salvation is the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The one thing King David begged in the Psalms after he sinned was "please don't take Your Holy Spirit away". The Holy Spirit indwelled only a limited number of people in the Old Testament, but now He permanently makes His home in us if we received Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. I can't grasp this-every day, every hour, every moment He is with us, ready to teach, convict, love, instruct, empower, assist, pray when we have no words, fill with strength-what a miracle! It is simply astonishing. I have such a limited view of the spiritual world.

So today, a new day filled with possibilities, things to do, things to learn and places to go, is completely available to the Spirit to control. I find great comfort in that. In fact, one of the titles of the Holy Spirit is "The Comforter". What a beautiful name for God, and how true. When all else fails us, His very presence is there in the midst of anything that may happen to us. I find comfort and strength simply knowing I'm never alone. The scriptures say the Spirit can be quenched or grieved-His heart can be broken by things we do, and His special action in our lives hindered, but only if we choose to make it so. The scriptures also say, walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. It is so much walking with a beloved Friend right next to you. In time that Friend hopefully becomes the most trusted individual in your life, and loving Him more important than anything else we might do. Jesus said, If I don't go away, the Comforter cannot come. I'm so glad He did.


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