If you’re not ready, the side effects can pack more than you handle.
For years, I treated Holy Spirit as a distant, unfamiliar entity.
God? I knew Him. Jesus? He had become my friend. Holy Spirit? I knew He dwelt within me, but I just didn’t know how to acquaint myself with Him or to take advantage of the relationship He wants me to have with Him. Through ignorance and perhaps laziness and apathy, I simply ignored this wonderful–and crucial–part of the Trinity.
No more. And I have several people to thank for that.
One is my buddy Lee Grady, author and founder and director of the Mordecai Project. Not only did he visit our offices at Charisma Media recently to teach us how to make our magazine better (he is the former editor), but his most recent book, titled Set My Heart on Fire helped to do just that—set my heart on fire for God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I love what he did with this book, including a warning label he put on the back cover:
Warning: Reading this book, saying the dangerous prayers in this book, and acting on the recommendations prescribed in this book could have severe consequences for you and the people around you. Asking Holy Spirit to ignite a spiritual fire in your life can have serious side effects. Holy Spirit has been known to (1) confront sinful habits, (2) disrupt normal routines, (3) challenge personal comforts, (4) redirect careers, (5) reconcile broken relationships, (6) transform timid people into bold preachers, and (7) send normal, shy people to foreign countries as bold missionaries. Please count the cost before reading.
I know Holy Spirit has intervened for me in several situations, and I know He has convicted me for my pride and hardness of heart.
(1) Check. (2) Check. (3) Check. (4) Working on it. (5) Check. (6) Check. (7) If that’s what Holy Spirit wants for me, then so be it.
With all due apologies to my upbringing, the Catholic Church never taught me the true power of Holy Spirit. Sure, it included it in the Trinity, but I never understood who the third entity of the Trinity truly is and what He can do for me until just recently.
I know Holy Spirit has intervened for me in several situations, and I know He has convicted me for my pride and hardness of heart. A sinful habit—intentional sin as author John Bevere calls it—is being put down. Holy Spirit has gently told me that I have become way too comfortable in some of my daily routines. And, I believe, by listening to the prompting of Holy Spirit, I am becoming much more bold in my confession of Christ. That is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? That and growing closer to Christ every day?
Jesus said that Holy Spirit will “glorify me.” John 15:26 says, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”
I recently discovered a Facebook page called Rogue Millennials through the Christian Bloggers Network. And while I realize this generation has a voice, I largely have, by apathy and perhaps pride, ignored what Millennials have had to say about what they want from their church experience.
And I am convinced that Holy Spirit prompted me to check out Rogue Millennials. Jared, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you and to hear from your crowd. I have been tremendously blessed by your page so far.
Lee Grady might be proud. So would my mom, my brother and my mentor, Dr. Steve Greene. But there is still so much more I need and want to learn about Holy Spirit.
I implore you today to grow closer to Jesus through Holy Spirit. Pray every day for Holy Spirit to guide your words and your actions. Start your day that way and you can’t go wrong.
And remember to do something to rise higher in your kingdom calling today.
Step Out of the Boat is a ministry created by Charisma Media Content Development Editor Shawn A. Akers and dedicated to help Christ followers to become spiritual champions and come to a more intimate relationship with Jesus. With its articles, podcasts and other forms of media, Step Out of the Boat encourages Christ followers to daily reach to a higher level in their calling. Shawn is a 35-year veteran sportswriter, a published poet and he published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.