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Posts Tagged ‘the indwelling Holy Spirit’

Jo 17This past week, I found myself more than once in complaining mode. There were various events, large and small, ongoing and one-off, that brought this on. For the most part, I stewed in silence. But in the end, after venting my feelings to someone close to me at great length, I began to surface from my morass of self-pity and see things in a more reasonable light.

Yes, I decided, I had good reason to complain about some things that had occurred and some decisions others had made. I was right in feeling a little ripped off. As for some of the ongoing situations, I decided it was okay to be honest and acknowledge the difficulty these were causing me. But what was my response to be from this point on? Where was the healthy and godly way forward for me?

You see, it had dawned on me at last that God was still there in the midst of everything. God knew all my muddled, confused thoughts and mixed emotions. Not only that, God still loved me with the most amazing, tender, caring love and wanted me to remember that. I know this was the case for two reasons. Firstly, by that time, I had calmed down enough to recognise the Spirit’s gentle voice within, whispering this truth to me. But secondly, only that morning, I had received a beautiful email from a friend who told me she was praying for God’s encouragement and love to surround me and wanted to share with me some words from Ephesians 1 in The Message version of the Bible:

“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ (What pleasure He took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son.”

I had a clear choice at that point. I could continue to grumble and stew and feel sorry for myself, ignoring what God might be saying to me through these words and through the situations in my life, as well as my responses to them. Or I could change my focus, step back a little and begin to allow God to widen my perspective and show me the way forward. A ‘no-brainer’, wouldn’t you agree?

For a little while at least, it had kind of slipped my mind that, because God’s Spirit lives in me, as I know from experience and as Jesus talks about in John 14:17, then God is an integral part of everything that is happening in my life. Nothing takes God by surprise—and God is quite able to use every situation to teach us something and draw us closer. So my best response is to rest back in that amazing love of God, receive the grace and mercy that is always there for me and choose to listen once again to the Shepherd’s voice.

God is always up to something in our lives—and I am so thankful for that.

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