|Image by hscs.ca|
This April, because Easter is coming near the middle of the month, we'll turn our attention to one aspect of Jesus’ death and resurrection that we don’t usually emphasize until Pentecost six weeks later.
Just before Jesus left earth (and his disciples), he promised to give them the Holy Spirit.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you” (John 14:16,18 NLT)
Jesus was not introducing a new concept, however. God promised through the prophet Joel centuries before Jesus that the Spirit would come in a new and fuller way.
“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams and your young men will see visions...I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike” (Joel 2:28-29)
And so at Pentecost, God poured out the Spirit on everyone gathered together. And this gift carries through to us today.
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What does His power and presence mean to me as
I’ve never seen such clear insights of the Spirit’s leading and empowerment as in Ken Kuhlken’s, Writing and the Spirit: Advice for Anybody Who Hopes to Change the World. “The engine of our creativity flows through the Spirit to us,” he wrote. “Words, images, or lines that spring to mind most unexpectedly” are gifts from the Spirit.
· Confidence that the story will “find its way and lead us to some event that brings the other stuff together.”
· Structure: The Spirit will “guide us to the right place in our story to use a certain thought or image, so that it can achieve the greatest impact.”
· “Directions or clues that seem to come out of nowhere.”
· On a grander scale, the Spirit will direct us to the “theme or epic narrative” that will define our life’s work. “William Butler Yeats proposed that, for each of us, there may exist one archetypal story or explanatory myth that, being understood, might clarify all we do and think, and so explain our destiny.”[i]
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As believers, we have the Spirit poured out on us in so many ways.
· Once we’ve accepted Jesus as our Saviour, the Spirit dwells within us (Romans 8:11).
· He teaches us, bringing all things to our remembrance (John 4:26).
· He produced godly fruit in us (Galatians 5:22-23).
· He equips us with Spiritual gifts.
· He equips us in every single thing we do.
· He takes our faltering prayers and interprets them according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).
· He brings to mind Scripture—to encourage, correct, instruct (Hebrews 4:12), and to give authority to our prayers
So much more can be added! Our writers this month will explore a kaleidoscope of perspectives and experiences to illustrate the presence and power of the Spirit.
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Now it’s your turn.
What does the coming of the Spirit mean to you? How do you understand Him in your life and circumstances---and in your writing?
[i] Ken Kuhlken. Writing and the Spirit: Advice for Anybody Who Hopes to Change the World. OakTara Publishers. 2013. Pp. 12-13.