But I say, walk by the Spirit. . .Galatians 5:16
Let’s do a little theology today and talk about the Holy Spirit for a minute.
C.S. Lewis says that we make two equal and opposite errors when it comes to the devil. We either turn Satan into a cartoon and dismiss him, or we think he’s behind everything. I used to think that way about the Holy Spirit.
Here’s what I mean. I used to associate the Spirit with stuff that I thought was weird and I didn’t understand. I’d look at some of the extreme stuff that I’d see from a few televangelists and dismiss it. That was my cartoon version of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, I would read from people or hear from people who talked about listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and being led by the Holy Spirit, and I would think they used the Third Person of the Trinity as a crutch for lazy thinking or poor planning. How could the Holy Spirit lead you in everything? Didn’t God give you a brain to figure out most of life?
I was wrong about the Holy Spirit.
Yes, there is a cartoon version of the Holy Spirit that is not biblical. Yes, there are people who manipulate other people in the name of Jesus for money and fame. That’s wrong, for sure. It’s not my purpose, today, to call attention to that.
But what about the other side? Is it wrong to think that the Holy Spirit is in everything?
My wrong thinking, then, and sometimes even now is that I like to be in charge and call on the Holy Spirit to lead me when I’m in a mess or when I have a big decision to make. It’s like the Holy Spirit is my secret weapon, my “Billy Baroo” putter that I take out when I’m desperate (sorry, if you miss the reference). It’s all on the line, now, let’s call in the Holy Spirit!
Here’s what so wrong about that thinking. Jesus didn’t give His life for us just so that we could have a button to push to get us out of a jam. He told his disciples that He would not leave them as orphans. He told them that they would receive a Helper, a Counselor, the very presence of God himself to lead them in all truth. Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit replaces our fear and anxiety with the promise that we are children of God.
That sounds a lot more like an everyday, all-the-time thing, than a special occasion, major decision, big time crisis thing.
The Holy Spirit is there to guide in those times, too. But it’s a lot easier to hear his voice when you don’t have to take Him out of the special case.
When was the last time you called on the Holy Spirit for guidance?
Holy Spirit, help me to call on you in the everyday part of my life.
Read Galatians 5