We had a great day this Sunday, filled with lots of praises and prayer requests!
First off, Caleb Bruhn accepted a new job, after months of waiting on the Lord to open up the right position for him. So praise God for that, and let’s be praying about his upcoming move (which will happen soon after he gets back from the Missions Trip to Haiti).
Second, Bud’s legs crumpled out from under him this week, sending him to the floor -- and then to the hospital. Praise God that he didn’t do much more than bruise his elbow in the process, but please do keep him in your prayers as the doctors try to figure out what happened, and how to keep it from happening again.
Third, my own Mom found out this week that she’s got breast cancer, so praise God that it’s been found early on, but please be praying as she goes in this week for an MRI to see just what she’s up against inside her own body, and what they need to do to fight it.
But in all of these situations, there are facets and aspects that truly are praise-worthy, and some that truly are worthy to be lifted up as requests. Too often, we just do one or the other, and we forget that the vast majority of things in this life are neither black nor white, but a kaleidoscope of colors and variations and gradations. So when we praise God, we don’t have to ignore our needs -- and when we lift our burdens to Him, we should never ignore our blessings.
In our message this week, we continued to look at the character of the Holy Spirit and His various ministries long before Pentecost ever happened -- this week, focusing on the Spirit as our Teacher.
We (rightly) think of Jesus as the Great Teacher, and He was. But He lived with us and taught us Truth for three years -- or thirty-three years, if you really want to get technical. But the Holy Spirit has lived in us and taught us Truth for two thousand years, though we seldom think about Him that way.
That’s what Jesus had promised that He would do back in John 14:26, but it’s also what He’s been doing since long before that. David called for the Holy Spirit to teach him God’s will and lead him on level ground (in Psalm 143), to sustain him and restore him (in Psalm 51). Before that, the Levites had sung about His instruction back in Nehemiah 9:20 -- that it was as miraculous and life-saving as the water from the rock or the manna from the sky. Before that, Job’s friend Elihu had argued that it was the Spirit who taught wisdom, and not just experience (in Job 32:6-8). The list goes on.
So here’s the thing: If you have such close, personal, easy access to wisdom from the greatest Teacher in the Universe, what should you do about that? Should you continue to just make decisions about everyday life, about Truth, about Scripture, about relationships, based on what makes the most sense to you (or based on what frightens or encourages you the most)? Or should you regularly actively stop and take the time to set your own heart and mind to the side for a moment, and ask the Holy Spirit to instruct you before you charge on ahead?
Of course, then you’ll have to stop and really listen...