Phew, okay, so the past 6 months have been a huge Holy Spirit journey, I have been on a search for understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately I was desiring more of God the Holy Spirit. This is not a bad thing and I'm not about to say it is. My journey has had mammoth meaning for my life, recently I've had an epiphany.
My faith family has just finished a sermon series called The Prodigal God based on the book by Dr Timothy Keller. The sermon titled Two ways to miss God has just touched me, over a week after hearing it. Don't you love it how God uses many things to bring you to a heart space to hear? Over the last few days I was listening to a sermon by David Platt on Exodus 33, called Desperate for His Spirit, the title got me, cos I am desperate for His Spirit. God got my attention. He shone his light on something so I could see even with my terrible short-sighted vision.
To summarise, for those who are pushed for time to listen to both sermons (although you should take the time - not trying to be bossy, but you really should); there were two sons in the story of the prodigal son and one father. The story is more about the Father, than about the sons. But we all know the first son, the obviously sinful one, he wanted only for himself, he had absolutely no regard for the father, in fact by asking for his inheritance before his fathers death, it was as good as wishing him dead. The second son however was just as sinful. Why? The second son wanted the fathers 'stuff' - his property, his prestige, his place in society, but he didn't want the Father. Neither of them wanted the Father, and yet the Father offered grace after grace after grace.
In Exodus 33 we find the tender interaction between God and Moses where God has had enough of his people, and tells Moses to take them to the promised land, but He isn't going with them. Moses replies, we're not going if you don't go with us! The interaction continues, the sermon is fantastic, I'd highly recommend it (click link above) then when Moses get's his way he then says "Now show me your glory". After all Moses has been through with the creator of the universe, he asks for more, seeing God's glory gives you a hunger for more of Him.
In my search for more of the Holy Spirit in my life I have sought the Father's 'stuff', but I had forgotten the Father, my quest was to be filled with the Holy Spirit in a way that was blindingly obvious like Saul on the road to Damascus. I wanted evidence, I wanted power, I wanted to see his glory through looking at my own life, I wanted evidence I could experience, I wanted the gifts of the Spirit. This isn't a bad thing, but my quest became misguided when I took my eyes off God and on to me.
David Platt asks two questions in his sermon:
Will we be dependant on ourselves or will we be desperate for His Spirit?
I think my desire for the Spirit became a quest to find the formula, the way to get more of the Spirit. I had lost my way. I've had the pleasure of speaking with some gracious, humble guides along the journey, and I have read some amazing books. But ultimately I had been wanting to find the answer that I can 'do' something or 'receive' something that will magically give me the relationship I desire.
I'm starting to wonder if the formula I need to be seeking goes something like this;
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.(Matt 6:33)
I went from reading my Bible to only reading books about the bible. This is dangerous. I am so thankful God has, in His kindness, turned me back to the path to find more of Him, rather than a magic formula to get something. I still desire all of it, I desire more of the filling of the Holy Spirit, I desire the gifts of the Spirit, I desire the power of God to be at work in and through me, I desire to experience God through the manifestation of his Spirit, and I know He is a generous God and will give me the desire of my heart - if my heart is after His.
Turn page - start a fresh.
O God your grace takes our breath away ... and takes away our gigantic mistakes, protect us Lord from the deception of the devil. Keep pure what is pure desire for you and more of you. Teach us, guide us, sanctify us. Show us your glory.