How do we make God really happy?
How does the Holy Spirit engage with us?
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17)
The Bible, the Word of God, ought to be the touchstone for all of our opinions and decisions, but its power only kicks in when we are connected to its oracles through the work of the Holy Spirit living in us. This separates us from everyone else, to whom the Bible is just any old book, fodder for the bookshelves. To us the Bible is life itself, energised by the divine cord connecting its precious words to our mind and spirit.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
As the passage from 1 Corinthians reminds us, the Bible is just paper and glue without the added zap of understanding that enlightens our spirit. We need to be able to interact with the Holy Spirit, that wonderful Person who lives within us but is often ignored, like how some teenagers’ treat their dads, those ever-present but unappreciated providers. In Hebraic Church I sketched out two areas where we can take the initiative.
Firstly, was the realisation that God really does want to speak to us. He does so through moments in time, I called them ‘God moments’. All through the Bible we read of Him breaking into the timeline of His prophets and giving them instructions that are going to change the lives of His people. He still works in this way, even today. If we let Him do so, He will also break into our lives … and change us forever. This is our on-going testimony, God causes us to remember, to remember and believe, which does far more to sustain and build our faith than any number of clever arguments. And that is our first big thought; remember, don’t analyse
The other is something that turns Greek thinking right on its head. It is the concept of form and function. It arises from a view of things from the perspective of God, rather than the Greek concept of man being at the centre of everything. For God everything in Creation has a purpose.
The Lord works out everything to its proper end — even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Proverbs 16:4)
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
This will be examined in more detail later in this series, but for now just think that everything in Creation (including you and me) should be identified by its purpose, or function, as well as its physical appearance, its form. In our culture, it is form that rules, we observe objects, we use them, we collect them, we are them. We’re comfortable with nouns. In God’s Kingdom, verbs are more important, even the Hebrew language, the language of most of the Bible, is a verb-orientated language, a language of action, of doing things. We all need to find out what our particular function is, as we consider our second big thought; function is to be preferred over form.
These two big thoughts show us how the Holy Spirit works, at the most fundamental level. He wants us to connect with our Heavenly Father and he wants us to discover our true function in His kingdom. Later on we are going to see how we can engage with these ideas, but first let’s return to our basic principles that should inform godly decision making. The first is to honour God and the second is to reflect Jesus. The third is quite plain to see:
Engage with the Holy Spirit.
This is an extract from the book, Livin’ the Life, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/livin-the-life-151-p.asp