It started with a question. Why was fear invading my thoughts because of my suggestion for a couple of friends to connect? Such a simple scenario yet a profoundly deep question.
It had to do with control. And trust. And fear.
Our words may cause things to happen but that doesn't mean we control the future or are responsible for the shape our ideas take. Sometimes our words are the Spirit of God working in us. We listen and speak it into being. In that case it's the Spirit's action. The Spirit's plan.
Yet we can stop it. In my case I didn’t stop it. I gave my friends the idea. Then the fear of the next steps in this plan began to leak into my thoughts and the prospect of disaster circled back around to me. At the root of my thoughts was the notion that I somehow control what happens in the universe. And I don’t trust myself.
If I don’t trust myself, I can’t trust God’s leading through His Spirit. I’ll shut it down. I’ll ignore the whispers. I’ll fear the outcomes. I won’t participate in the plans He has for me and those around me.
But how do I trust myself? Well, ironically, it starts with putting myself aside and believing in the power of God. Believing that His Spirit lives in me and is capable of all things. Yes, all things. I’m just the tool. But unlike a power tool which only benefits the carpenter when the power button is pushed, I’m a tool that participates with the Creator of the Universe.
But it starts with trust. Trust in myself. Trust in the abilities God has given me and an understanding of how these abilities can be used by the Spirit of God.
The Spirit of God makes all that I am better. The essence of the Spirit is love. Love for me, love for others, love for humanity. Love is the fuel of God’s Spirit.
. . . and I need to trust this fuel, and God, and myself if it’s going to work.
The Spirit of God is like the connections we can now observe within the brain. Sinuous connections firing light and color. Moving and powerful. The connections are made of the spiritual practices of love, faith, hope, forgiveness, gratitude, meaning, & purpose. Inside those practices, I dance with the Holy Spirit and bring about the good purposes this tool has been created for.
It’s not all or nothing. I’m not a hand drill, nor am I the master and creator of it. It’s not up to me to know how to an be capable of great love but it’s up to me to participate in it. The Spirit isn't like a human being with limits. The Holy Spirit is trust and love and grace and hope and faith and forgiveness. It ebbs and flows with the situations at hand.
. . . yet I have the power to shut the Spirit down completely. I hold an enormous amount of control. My fears, insecurities, and laziness can cause the whole machine to come to a screeching halt. All the potential in this magnificent source of power is subject to my will. ‘Thy will be done’ depends on my willingness to participate.
What a complex and magnificent plan!
Questions for God
Do you sit in heaven and plead with us, God? Do you plead with us to just step into this magnificent source of power and bring about your purposes? Does it make you sad to see the power used and the glory given to the individual who has used it and has taken credit himself?
Control / Fear
I’m not in control of life’s circumstances. If I believe I am, my fear will shut down the flow of the Spirit. I'll be too afraid to speak or act on His behalf. The power source will be cut off.
But I allow fear to stop the progress of God. My lack of trust in myself has thwarted bringing about the kingdom to this earth. Believing that I have control has caused my own intentions to prevail. We all do these things.
Allowing the Spirit to flow starts with trust. Trust in myself and trust in the Holy Spirit that lives in me. If I don’t trust myself and what I hear from the Spirit, I'll shut it down. The fear of what I say having dire consequences for others will keep my mouth shut. But I’m not responsible for other people’s behavior. They can and do choose for themselves. So do I.
Speaking the Spirit’s truth allows God’s plan to be sprouted. Speaking the whispers of God bring His will into the world. Participating in His plans is a noble endeavor.
It’s not hard to flow with the Holy Spirit. He’s filled with love! This beautiful and complex system is individually designed within each of us. But our humanness can lay over this limitless source of power and goodness like a wet blanket.
We can focus on our sinfulness and try to shed ourselves of it. This mindset tells us we're like worms, useless and sinful. We walk through life with the constant realization of our sinfulness and how we’re letting God down. We’re unworthy and horrible. There is no good in us. We strive to beat the sin out of ourselves by discipline and hard work. We lament over our weakness and insignificance compared to our awesome God. This is self-focused thinking.
Or, we can understand this system’s great power and step into its potential. This isn't a selfish endeavor but it can seem as such. Believing that we're capable seems boastful and arrogant, unless we understand that our capabilities are given to us by God. Believing that we hold the keys to bring about God’s plans sounds irreverent. But this is the system God has set up. He wants it this way. He needs our participation. He wants our participation. He’s waiting for our participation. This is God-focused thinking.
It’s our own stuff that stops the flow. Our unbelief and insecurities. Our lack of trust and fears. Our feelings of inadequacy and focus on our sin. Our belief that we somehow control the future by our words and actions.