Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

21 Day Experiment-Day 16

Spirit. What comes to mind when you hear the word spirit? There’s a lot of talk these days about what it means to be “spiritual.”   And some confusion about the Holy Spirit—the One Jesus calls the “Spirit of truth.”

For starters, the Holy Spirit is not an “it.” Or even a ghostlike vapor.  Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a He—a person. In John 16, we read about the Holy Spirit’s personality and His job description. I’m so glad you’re still with us for the 21 Day Experiment in Prayer. The Lord rewards us today with some special secrets that will strengthen both our walk and our prayer life.

Jesus, knowing the cross awaits Him, prepares His followers for the trying days ahead. They will face persecution, He warns them. But they will not be alone because the Holy Spirit will be with them. Jesus gives a wonderful glimpse into the person and work of this somewhat mysterious Spirit.

The Amplified Bible is one of my favorite study tools.  I appreciate the way its translators explain the finer nuances of the original languages. See if you can pick out the different roles the Holy Spirit plays in our Christian life. Click here to read the entire chapter in this version.

Jesus’ words are my watchword for the day: However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you] (John 16:7 AMPC).

Comforter. Counselor. Helper. Advocate. Intercessor. Strengthener. Standby.  Jesus promised that it would be for our good that He would go to the Cross. Because only then would He be resurrected and send the Holy Spirit to be with us—to dwell in us—forever. Wow!

Today, as my “doer of the Word” focus, I think I’ll simply reflect on each word in Jesus’ job description for the Holy Spirit:








Prayer: Lord, thank you for the astounding gift Your Holy Spirit. Help me understand more fully what it means to have “close fellowship” with the Holy Spirit. To pray in the Spirit. To walk by the Spirit. Today, I especially ask for strength to abide in Your Holy Spirit.


21 Day Experiment-Day 10

Consider the miracle of speech.  Our voice sets us apart from the animals. It allows us to communicate with each other.  A voice is a powerful tool for good or for evil.

We’re about half-way through our 21 Day Experiment. I’m so glad you’re hanging in there! In John 10, Jesus encourages us to listen to His voice. “I am the good shepherd,” He tells us.  A good shepherd proves his love by laying down his life for the sheep. He’s willing to defend those in his care, even if it means dying for them. Like any loving parent, I’d give up my life in a heartbeat to defend my kids! Not like the hired hand, who cuts and runs when danger hits (John 10:10-13).

Think of the people whose voice is familiar to you.  When my husband calls, he doesn’t have to identify himself.  I know his voice because I know him so well.

So it is with God. The better we get to know Him, the more easily we recognize His voice. “Tune your ears to my voice” (Proverbs 4:20 MSG), says the Lord. One way we “tune” our hearts is by spending time reading and meditating on His Word.

Training our heart to hear God’s voice is one of our most important tasks as believers. Quite a challenge in our busy, noisy world! Daily, we’re bombarded by so many voices. Some speak truth, but others lead us astray.

God’s Word promises us that listening to His voice will bring blessings and protection.  “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20).

When we make a decision to follow Jesus, we begin to recognize His voice.  My watchword today encourages me to listen:

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow Me (John 10:27).

A few simple tips that help me sharpen my hearing:

  1. I carve out time first thing for God’s Word and prayer. I call this my “morning launch.”
  2. I have a special chair in my bedroom. I shut my door—and unplug from technology.
  3. I don’t evaluate my day ‘til I run, have my coffee, and pray—not always in that order.
  4. I have a plan and a few tools: My Bible, a journal, and my Chubby Book.
  5. I slowly prayerfully read my Bible selection. I take my Chubby Book (with my verse and prayer list) while folding clothes, driving across town, going for an afternoon walk.
  6. I sometimes text a prayer partner to “agree” with me about a specific prayer.
  7. I am watchful for little “God winks” throughout the day that remind me He’s “got this.”

Prayer: Lord, you’re the Good Shepherd. It’s worth my first and best energy to spend time listening to Your voice. Open my eyes to catch glimpses of how You’re at work all around me today!


21 Day Experiment-Day 7

Even before I believed in Jesus, I knew there was a great divide between those who followed Him and those who did not. As I’ve shared earlier, I was firmly in the “not” camp. Christians seemed so… well…needy. I knew I’d have to admit I was broken before I could accept Jesus as my Savior. And I repeat—I did not want to see myself as needy. Can anyone relate?

Welcome to day seven of our 21 Day Experiment. In John 7, Jesus is speaking at a Jewish Festival. All of a sudden He stands up and singles out the “needy” ones:

Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) (John 7:37-39 NLT).

Jesus spoke of “living water” only twice. The first time was in John 4. He was sitting by a well when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink. She was shocked because he was a Jew—everyone knew Jews hated Samaritans. Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

“Thirsty” is just another word for needy. Jesus promises, not a cup, but a river to fill us to overflowing. “Living water” reminds me of rushing rapids. White water—rough, wild, extravagant. Beyond my need, expectations, or imagination. That’s how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit is a person. Not an “it.” The Bible says He dwells in us once we invite Jesus to be our Savior. That means we get to talk to God, by way of the Holy Spirit. We train our heart to recognize His voice—most often a whisper.

To be a doer of the Word means I first admit I am thirsty. Next, I’m going to be intentional to slow myself down today so I can reflect on this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit.  It helps to eliminate hurry if I want to hear His voice.

The Bible also encourages us to commune with the Holy Spirit.  Listen to His nudges—they’re always consistent with Scripture. They’re personal—just for you. The Holy Spirit knows your need. He speaks your language.

Prayer: Lord, I’m thankful for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. You gave this gift so I could have a relationship—an intimate friendship with You—for all eternity.

May the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you (2 Corinthians 13:14 MSG).

The Power of Love-Day 21

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of 21 Days of Strength. I hope you’ve found a few strategies that will help you strengthen yourself in the Lord. Remember. God is near to the broken hearted.  He loves us when we’re weak.  But He delights in making us strong.

We’ve talked about the importance of abiding in Christ, of spending time alone with God in His Word and prayer. Jesus Himself reminds us to make time to “go to our room and shut the door and pray to our Father in secret.” If we want to remain strong in the fight of faith, it’s important to stick together with our fellow believers, to de-clutter the sin that weighs us down, to obey God’s calling, and to give our lives away to others.

Growing strong in the Lord occurs as we fervently seek Him day in and day out. But even when we grow weary and weak, we know that God is ready and waiting to give us His strength. It’s His character and His very nature to give out of His own storehouse of strength and power to His children. The Apostle Paul puts it this way as he pours out his heart in prayer for all believers, including you and me:

“I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:14-16).

Did you catch that? Strength comes in the form of power through the Holy Spirit in our inner being. We grow strong so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Amazing. No wonder God wants to make us strong!

The next verses give more reasons to grow strong in the Lord: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Strength from the Holy Spirit helps to ground us….to root and establish us in love.  Together with other believers, united by love,  we’re enabled to grasp this enormous love of Christ.  A love that’s beyond comprehension.  A love that fills us with the “fullness of God.”  A love that gives strength and power!

Paul attempts to describe this wonderful love-power in his final benediction.  May this promise from the Word of God send us back out into our hurting and broken world, armed with unshakeable strength and wrapped in love:  “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” ( Ephesians 3:20).  -Amen!

Day Seventeen: Is that really You, God?

Sometimes keeping watch means going to God for direction and listening for His guidance. But every voice we hear in our head is not from God, so this process takes patience.  We’ve been asking the Lord to open our eyes during our 21 Day Watch.  It’s  also important that we train our heart to hear His voice, the inner voice of the Spirit.  My friend Kris prayed for guidance when she was unexpectedly called to lead a women’s event. She shares the story of how God answered her specific prayer with clarity, which in turn, gave her confidence that she had heard His voice.

 GUEST BLOG: Kris McBride

I was recently praying about a women’s gathering I had been asked to lead. My session was to follow on the heels of a well-known national speaker, so I felt a bit out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what my part of the program should look like, so I asked God to show me to do. As I was praying, I sensed God telling me to go read the short book of Ruth in the Old Testament. As I began reading, it seemed God was giving me a clear vision for our program. I was so excited to see how everything fit together and thankful God had answered my prayer.

 I shared what God had revealed with a few friends helping with the event.  Everyone agreed the theme from Ruth sounded good, but several weeks later, I began to question my plan. Had I actually heard God? Doubts began to flood my mind. What if I was wrong? What if the message for the entire event didn’t seem to flow? Not knowing what else to do, I prayed again, and asked God specifically for a sign that I had really heard from Him.

Two days later we were at staff prayer meeting at the church where I work. One of the pastors began giving the morning devotional. He just happened to be reading from the book of Ruth and mentioned exactly the same points God had already given me.  As the pastor continued to talk, tears began to fill my eyes. I could not believe that God answered my prayer so quickly and with such an undeniable sign.

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had helped me prepare for the gathering. What’s more, I knew that I had heard Him correctly. Yet why was I so surprised that God showed me the plan for the gathering and answered my prayer for a sign that I had heard from Him? It was a good reminder that when I pray and ask God to provide direction, I not only need to be watch but I should also wait expectantly for Him to answer my prayers.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3).

*Click here to  read another post by Kris.