In her own words, Part II

I want you all to know, that I find it difficult to yield my will to God.  I find it difficult to obey God. I find it difficult to trust God to fill me with His Spirit.

I think that is why God wants me to share about the Holy Spirit.  He knows I struggle with this, and that I am not up on a mountain, speaking down to the masses about this, He knows, I am right there in the trenches—fighting with my will to yield to Him, and many, many times failing.

Today, when I was listening to the radio, a song came on, that expressed how I often feel, and there was a line that said:  “But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away– From You leaving me this way.”

Have you ever felt that way—like you struggle with the same sins, and you make the same mistakes, over and over again?

I love this song, because the chorus goes on to say:   “Jesus, can you show me just how far the east is from the west? ‘Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been– Rising up in me again.  In the arms of Your mercy I find rest– You know just how far the east is from the west– From one scarred hand to the other.”

In my blog, “Comfort and Encourage”, I talked about how in Psalm 103, King David tells us that our sins have been removed from us, as far as the East is from the West.   I would love for everyone who reads this blog to listen to this song, with that scripture in mind.  I know it will encourage you!

The purpose of this blog, is to explore the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  This blog is really part 2 of the blog I wrote before this, called, “In her own words…”, where I shared part of a letter, sent to friends of Becki Crain, after she had died of cancer.   This letter shared thoughts of Becki that illustrate the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

I would like to share some more of that letter with you.   Again, I’ve edited it a little for greater readability.

“I’m finding that my spiritual growth isn’t dependent on me at all.  It’s dependent on Him alone.  I think that even though there are spiritual giants out there, they are carnal too.  They’re just products of God’s making.  There is no way we can take glory in what He’s done in us, in what He’s doing in us, and what He will do.  If it were up to us, we would have left Him so long ago and so many times over.   We are carnal, but we are also spiritual because God put His spirit in us and we long for Him because He’s given us that longing.  I’m afraid to say these things, because I know that maybe in an hour, maybe tomorrow I’ll be wallowing in self-pity again, seeing only me, my disabilities, seeing only my pain, wondering why God hasn’t healed me yet.  I understand why Corrie ten Boom felt the way she did about her own spiritual walk.  She saw how carnal she really was.  I think she’s a giant and I hope to someday be a giant like her but I don’t want to go through that.  I don’t want to go through this.  I don’t want to die.  I don’t want to die to myself.  But God doesn’t say, “What do you want, Becki?”  He says He will fill me with Himself.”

Again—my friend has articulated so perfectly, the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  God put His Spirit in us, and we long for Him, because He’s given us that longing.   We are all products of God’s making.  We can’t take credit for what He is done, doing and will do in us.  He wants to fill us with Himself.  When we trusted Jesus as our Savior, our old selves were crucified with Him and He gave us His Holy Spirit.

Galatians 2:20 says: “My old self has been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  So, I live in this earthly body, by trusting in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me.”

When we are commanded in Ephesian 5:18 to be filled with the Spirit—that is what God is telling us—He is telling us to yield our wills to Him and trust Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to live His life through ours.  This is what it means to “abide” in Jesus and be connected to Jesus as the vine and as us as the branches.  We do not have to ‘try’ harder.  We just need to allow Jesus to live His life through ours. 

The hard part is yielding our wills, to allow Jesus to do this.  It does not mean in doing this that we become robots, it means, that we become more of the person God has always intended us to be, using our gifts, loving, giving and serving others. It’s hard to do, because it means saying “no” to what we think will meet our deepest needs, and saying “yes” to God and how He will meet our deepest needs. It means trusting Him and His love for us.

This is what my friend Becki was trying to communicate—these were some of her last words to us—God says He will fill us with Himself.   Just as we trusted Jesus to be our Savior, so we need to trust Him to fill us with Himself.  Faith is taking God at His Word.  God commands us to be filled.  Ephesians 5;18:  “Do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but Be Filled With the Holy Spirit.”

 To be filled, We confess our sins, (see my Guilt blog), if you want to know more about this.  We Yield ourselves to God.   By Faith, we ask the Holy Spirit, to Fill us.   By faith, we thank God, that He has filled us.  When we sin, we confess, yield and ask God to fill us again.  It sounds simple, and yet, it means dying to self, and that is never simple.

If you would like more information about this topic, you can go to this link:

God knows we need help!  Therefore, God sent us, “The Helper” – the Holy Spirit.

So let us Be Encouraged!!

In her own words….

God has been telling me to write about the Holy Spirit.  I feel like one of those old-time prophets who is told by God to communicate something that they feel unqualified to speak about.  When I asked God what to write, He brought to mind a letter that my friend Becki, who died of cancer, sent out to friends who had been praying for her.  Actually, her husband sent out the letter, after Becki died, and he shared some of her thoughts with us.

I share these thoughts, because to me—they express the work of the Holy Spirit in a way that is real and living.

These are Becki’s words— edited a little for greater readability – while hopefully not losing any of their meaning:

Becky shared these thoughts when she was in Germany receiving treatment for cancer, and it was becoming apparent that cancer was winning, and she was physically dying. 

this spiritual battle, this spiritual journey, is not anything like what I thought it would be.  I thought I would feel victorious.  I though I would be able to live beyond the pain – maybe not even feel the pain – because I was so much living in the spirit. 

Isn’t that why it’s hard? I don’t want to read my bible, I don’t want to pray, but God is so good, He hasn’t let me go.  If He wasn’t so good, He and I would have parted ways early in this battle, because I’ve often felt, I don’t want this.

I just want to be a nice Christian woman, at home with her children, being a good wife and mother.

But God hasn’t let me go, He hasn’t turned aside and said, “Ok, I’ll work on somebody more faithful.”

I’m finding that my spiritual growth isn’t dependent on me at all, it’s dependent on Him alone.”

That last line expresses the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a nutshell.  This is it.  It is not dependent on us at all, it is dependent on God alone.

This is what Jesus means when he says (in John 15:5) :   “I am the vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.”

The branches grow fruit because they are connected to the vine.  They don’t have to grunt and strain and strive—they just have to be connected. 

So the big question—how are we connected?   

I would like to fully explore this question in my next blog.

In the meantime, let these thoughts encourage us—

Our God will not leave us, He will stay with us every step of the way.  He stayed with Becky every step of the way. He is holding us up, when we can not stand. Becki shared some verses to a song with us in this last letter. I would like to share that song with you. It’s an old song, but it expressed Becki’s heart:

 May we be encouraged!!