I have been noticing a ‘connected-ness’ running through my life recently. Not a word, you say? Probably not, but it seems to best define what is happening.
It started with my small group at church, First Place 4 Health. We are in our second 12-week session, and using the Bible study, Start Losing, Start Living. We meet on Thursday evenings, and I started to notice that Pastor Scott’s sermons on the following Sunday would have a point related to that week’s lesson in our books. Then, there was the “Holy Spirit Renewal Conference” hosted at Columbus Baptist Church. During the first night of the conference, one of the speakers was addressing how the Holy Spirit moves and works in our lives. “It is the personal, empowering presence of God in us,” he said. Exactly what we had been studying the week before – allowing God to work, and then doing our part.
That same Sunday, the chair of Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries, Dr. Clayton Ford, spoke at my home church, and one of the verses he concetrated on was Galatians 5:22-23, which happened to be our memory verse for the week in First Place!
So what? What’s your point, you’re probably asking. The point is, maybe God is trying to get my attention. Maybe He is pointing out that, “Yes, everything in the world I created is connected, because I made it that way.” Or is it a matter of growing? Am I seeing these connections because I have changed? Maybe.
Maybe I have learned to rely on the Spirit of God more, and to allow Him to work things out His way. For instance, last night at our First Place 4 Health group, we were talking about the parable of the talents, in Matthew 25: 14-30, a parable that can sound harsh or unfair. One woman remarked on that, and said that she never liked that story. But suddenly, I just knew that the difficulty wasn’t the story – it was the word ‘talent.’ We use it differently now. In Jesus’ day, talents were coins, or money. In other words, a resource to be used or not! Once we were all aware of that, the story made more sense to everyone. That was the Spirit of God.
By learning to listen to God, and trust Him more, I allow this interaction between myself and Him. The Spirit of God is living and powerful. After all, Paul says “you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15) Jesus himself says, “even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17) Learning to trust and listen to Him is a process. Sometimes it seems painfully slow! But without that trust, that confidence, how can we manage? Just look around at the world to see how people fare without God, without someone who “will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So, let me go on seeing these connections, this thread of meaning running through life. “Come, Holy Spirit, come!’