Indwelling of the Holy Spirit


Everything is different now.

Everything has changed.


We are back on the course where we should have been all along.

There is no turning back to the old ways.

But having realized this, having come this far, who would want to go back?


Keep your eyes on the Lord.
"No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine." (Psalms 33:16-19 NIV) Keep your eyes on the Lord.

Keep your eyes toward Heaven.

Focus your awareness in the spiritual realm.

Let go of the physical entrapments.

Let go of your self-defeating defense mechanisms taught to you by man.

Find release.

Others will reach out to you, enfold you, and lift you up before the Lord.

Lament of the Broken Spirit
Do we need someone to pin labels on us, so they can pat us on the head like puppy dogs and push us through their obedience training course? to their glorification? to satisfy their desire to control others?

No! They aren't perfect. Why should we have to be limited by their boxed-in mindsets?

We need loving Christians (real human beings) to allow us to come into their midst with open arms, to welcome us without judgment or prejudice.

Do we need to have all our dirty laundry hung out to dry so they can go "tsk-tsk" and devise a formula to make us more like them?

No! Did Jesus tell the prostitute "Let's think about it"?

No! He told her to go and sin no more!

Nowhere to serve
Do we need to be measured and identified by our limitations, while being refused the opportunity to serve, to contribute, and to use those spiritual gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit?

No! We need to be included in the lives of like-minded Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

So please, dear Body of Christ, give us a chance to share time with you that we may learn the things life has not taught us.

Don't punish or scold us. Be patient. We will learn. Just give us a chance, the opportunity.

Is that too much to ask? Is that more than the Bible would say to offer, to give?

Share life with us.
Pull your heads out of the sand. Offer a helping hand to lift us up and out of the gutter. Offer some cleansing relief. Forget what you have seen, how we had fallen. See what can be, not what was.

Share life with us.

Let us discover freedom together.




Wounded... but not beyond healing
The institutions of religion, family, and the sanctity of marriage have all taken a heavy beating. We are a nation of broken minds, broken hearts, and broken spirits. Yes, our spirits are wounded. Severely. But not beyond healing.

Come in from the rain.

I know it's wet and cold outside.

But you don't have to stay there.

Come in from the rain.

It's not easy
I know it's not easy to go to a place you've never been before.

But you still need to come here.

Come in from the rain.

I know you've heard all the horror stories.

Yes, some of them are true.

But you can't give up yet.

Come in from the rain.

What are the options?
I know you don't think it will be easy.

But what is easy? What is hard? It all seems pretty hard to me. What are the options?

Come in from the rain.

Why am I saying all this? What is my point?

I don't want you to catch your death from pneumonia.

There is life here.

Come in from the rain.

Part of society
If you are without employment and find it difficult to function in society, what does society do?

They put you to work.

Then you can support yourself and contribute to enriching the lives of others. You can learn to be a functioning member of society.

Come in from the rain.

Do you teach yourself how to function in society?

No, you learn that by society drawing you in and "showing you the ropes".

Come in from the rain.

Part of the Church
How do you learn to function within a church congregation... within the Body of Christ? How can the Church "show you the ropes"?

While addressing a partial answer to that question, I speak in the first person below. But this can be read as referring to a congregation as a whole participating, not just myself as one person. And it can be read as referring to all spiritual gifts, not just those specifically listed here.

Here is an example of how a Christian can be drawn into the Body of Christ.

Drawn into the Body of Christ
Observing the spiritual realm, I can see evil/unclean spirits as having names. They have specific functions. I can see the gifts of the Holy Spirit, each as a separate entity, with name and function. But I can also see the gifts of the Holy Spirit as one entity, one name, one function.

The fact that I seem to be able to "recognize" all the gifts here in this type of observation makes me wonder if I might use the gift of discerning of spirits to divide the unclean and the clean spirits in a person or group. And then with the clean spirits (really gifts), divide those gifts into the gift(s) that the person actually is called to use.

I also wonder then when it seems a person has an identified gift(s), if I am to provide comfort to the person's spirit, to help him accept his gift, and for him to know it is safe for him to have courage and boldness, with some degree of confidence in the certainty of all this. To help him not deny the manifestation of his gift.

There have been times that is has appeared that I may have the healing gift and I see that coming to play here.

Sometimes during a job interview, a prospective employer may ask you, "How would you define your perfect job?" I will run with that one for a moment -- for serving within the Body of Christ. But some of this response is just "feelings" and is not completely confirmed. But I feel very strongly there is certainly a basic core to this that is accurate.

Where is my heart? What is my passion? How do I call someone to come in from the rain?

In this example, I am ministering to "Saint".
1) I would use the gift of discernment to put the good and the bad in two separate corners. Or at least provide illumination for what is present in Saint's spiritual life and what some party needs to tend to. We don't need the bantering back and forth of the rogue elements undermining the foundation of Saint's ministry.

2) I would help Saint explore what his gift might be. This step may involve using a gift on my part, or it may be "clerical" in nature, or maybe even another Brother or Sister may step in to assist.

3) I would use the gift of healing to apply salve to the scars from the past (sometimes inflicted by the church). There is a necessary healing of emotions and spirit before a person can feel worthy of accepting a gift. And there must be a comforting and uplifting effect that encourages him in the fact that he has been given a gift that goes before him -- the gift has worth and the Body of Christ needs it and will use it. A boldness will appear in his spirit, not of self-confidence, but of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.

4) How could I light a fire under the gift he is called to use? Will I help Saint "perceive" the full range of gifts as a possibility, and one of them will jump out at us? Or would I lead him to an example of the gift being used? Would he believe me if I just told him, or does he have to learn it for himself?

Dave's assessment of Jeff's planning above
Sounds like a pretty good plan of attack to me Jeff. The Body of Christ needs to minister to itself much like the lungs refresh the blood and the heart pumps it around. Vital functions depend upon each other as the whole body depends on them. We must all function for each other and to lift each other up in service in order to bring health and order to a sick body. The act of releasing each other and using God's gifts to edify and raise up one another is what we were reborn to do. That is our function.

The open examination of the things that are resident in one's self at present and then projecting those current assets towards a supernatural fullness is a very health dream. It is like a vision borne of faith and I believe it will bear good fruit. There is a lot of talk about psychology in church counseling. But not a lot of using gifts like you are experiencing to not just help people with their problems, but more importantly to set them free to fully experience their gifts and to serve the Body and to minister to the lost. There is a great need in the church for this kind of forthright spiritual ministry.

Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
There are several key areas in which a congregation can nurture its members, and foster spiritual growth, as they learn to serve and build up the Body of Christ.

There must be education and guidance concerning spiritual gift(s) (1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, Ephesians 4), the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and the qualities found in a Christian's character (2 Peter 1:3-9).

People use the phrase "indwelling of the Holy Spirit". Indwell means to exist within as an activating and guiding spirit, force, or principle. That is God's Spirit living within us to bring about the will of God in our lives. We are born of the power of the Holy Spirit. God does not leave us as orphans. (John 14:16-21) His Spirit of Truth, Counselor, and Comforter assure that we are in Christ and He is in us. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit activates God's presence in our lives. This activates and guides our spiritual gifts, the fruits of the Spirit, and the qualities found in a Christian's character.

Let go!
Have you ever driven in a storm where you had trouble seeing and had trouble holding the car on course? And your knuckles turned white from clenching the steering wheel so tightly? Still trying to experience the leading of the Holy Spirit? Then let go of the steering wheel with both hands! Stop controlling and let the Holy Spirit keep you on course!