Pentecost Sunday Musing: Holy Spirit Empowerment

Today, Sunday 6/12/2011 is Pentecost Sunday[i]. It is the day that focuses on our being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is also known as the Jewish festival Shavuot.[ii]  In terms of previous thoughts regarding Pentecost please read https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/shavoutpentecost-musings/ and https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/musings-on-pentecost-sunday-shavu%e2%80%99ot/ in addition to today’s article.  Also please take time to celebrate having God with us and being in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit.

God set aside this day for a reason and a purpose. God specifically directed the disciples to wait. They were not to go off on their own and start sharing the good news about Salvation, they needed what they did not yet have.  See, on this day something happened that had not occurred before. Sure, there were instances of people being empowered by the Holy Spirit including Moses, David, Elijah, Elisha, and others.  But there never had been the moment where God took up residence within the human spirit. It was the day that the following of God’s truth and God’s ways was given the empowerment through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit enabling God with us, every day. It was the day that God’s ways, God’s law started being written on the hearts of humanity and daily fellowship with the creator enabled. 

Granted, there is a lot of ways folks understand and misunderstand the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  But, God made it clear that there is no fruit and progress without the Holy  Spirit. He directed the disciples to wait, to not go off on their own power to spread the gospel. Something else was needed.  Even then, he directed them to start local and move outward.  There were specific steps for specific times.  Now we may not always grasp or understand. At times we may be waiting, but God does go before us. He provides us what we need, when we need it. The Holy Spirit within us is evidence of this. But God gives when He gives in accordance with His will with what is necessary.  It may not match our viewpoint or understanding at all; for we do not see things clearly, only in part.  Think for a moment to what it would be like to be a disciple and having seen Jesus ascended and being directed to wait without having any idea what was coming.  Then Pentecost comes and the Holy Spirit comes and indwells. What a glorious day but no one could have possibly known what it meant until it happened. 

 

Now note that God still gives what in accordance with His will with what is necessary. It does not always line up or look like we think it should. We are told to listen and follow. We are to wait when directed to wait and we are to move forward when God says move forward. Each step involves trust.  Each instance and circumstance and life is unique.  Too often, each of us can look toward a certain way God moved and apply it broader.  But each circumstance, each person, each life is unique. God works in us all, and those of us who have submitted to God’s way and follow the true path have God with us. It is not a special thing about any of us, it is not a ‘divine spark.’ It is God taking up residence within us, to give us the power and direction to respond to God’s truth and love God and others in accordance with God’s will.  We simply need to trust and obey and be about what God directs each day. We are given power to do so each day, but it requires a daily surrender to the Holy Spirit and a seeking out and following God’s direction but in God’s word and in the prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Doing so makes each day a glorious day and leads us into the path of contentment recognizing that we can do all things through God’s empowerment which is enabled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Thank God for this day, many years ago that allows me to walk, write, and do what God sets before me when I surrender daily.  It is this that enables us all to be conquerors and empowered to do whatever is ahead. For none of us can do what God directs on our own accord, just as the disciples needed the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, so to we need this empowerment. It starts with surrender and following God with trust and obedience.  He gives the power, we just need to stay in step. When we are obedient and not relying on self, we can know that God will see us through to where He wants us, for He is promised is always faithful and He has given us the means to be empowered for whatever He asks in whatever circumstance.

Personal Musing: Ten years ago July 17, 2010

Ten years ago today, July 17th, I married my wife. It was a small ceremony at the Chapel of Love at Mall of America. We had a big wedding in Brazil the following January. The wedding was for me an apex moment and culmination of growth and healing that occurred in the many years since. A lot has come and gone since that wonderful day ten years ago. One thing is certain, that through it all I still love my wife deeply and consider her a gift. The worst moments of the past ten years ultimately have drawn me closer to God and a deeper awareness of His love. There is no doubt in my mind that God brought us together.

Looking back on my life and not getting married until thirty-five. Not even dating. There were reasons behind my not dating. One reason was a distrust for women that stretches back to ways been treated by girls growing up and other distorted views. There was a lot of fear and anxiety and a lot of untruthful negative perspectives about women. And for what was not untrue, a recognition that for whatever hurt and pain and uncertainty that can come into play, that God has great reward for entering into the relationship.

Yet, in that anxiety there were certainly moments that could have asked a woman out and perhaps even fostered a relationship. However, there was always a part of how God created me that would just “know” that a relationship would not be right. Now perhaps it was fears talking, because I was absolutely shy and clueless. Perhaps there were things lost out because settled for unacted on infatuations and fantasies of the mind. Regardless, at some level, choices made were not just of fear, but a deep knowledge that something would not be right.

With my wife, I know God brought me and Liz together for His reasons and purposes. See there was no question upon the first phone conversation in my mind where things ultimately were headed. I just knew where the relationship would end up and followed it through to the point of taking significant risks, such has meeting her sight unseen.

One of the amazing things and difficult things is God did bring us together as complementary but opposites. She is strong in areas I am weak and vice versa. She is emotional and passionate. I am easy going. She is detail oriented, I am adaptable. No there are ways that we are alike with strong empathy and compassion for others.

So today, as July 17th has started, I am filled with love and gratitude and thank God for the blessings, for even the hard times and the pain. For in all this, God refines us and draws us closer to Him. So today I praise God for my wife and ask for her to be lifted up in prayer, as she continues to endure trials that leave me agonizing to stand in support. The trials do not present any serious long term harm, just ongoing difficulties that are difficult to endure, with no answer or end in sight.

Prayer requests and Answers: Our God reigns: Janie Blake Cancer free!

God is good all the time!

God is good all the time!

Well just got report back from Janie and my Dad that Janie is cancer free.  This is evidence that God is indeed in control and His purposes and will, will stand.  I believe God used the physical tools such as chemotherapy and the supernatural to heal Janie from Cancer.  This also shows that God is not yet finished with how He intends to use Janie in the lives of others.  God made Janie promises and He delivered. 

Now there may be some out there who will readily dismiss any supernatural working in this matter, but I know this not to be the case. Is there “evidence” of supernatural healing versus the tools of modern medicine, not directly. It is all a matter of perspective.  I do not believe Janie would be Cancer free without divine intervention.  The simple fact is that Janie is now cancer free and pray for God to set the path for what remains ahead for my dad and step-mom.   

In terms of ongoing prayers for members of my family here are the following concerns:

My mother, Kris Blake:  She is facing visual decay with rod dysphasia vision problem that restricts her ability to see in the dark.  Pray for God to guide her on the path.  I pray that she may see in ways that she has not seen before. That whether or not the visual decay is reversed, that she may see with clarity and be able to speak forth and share all that she sees. 

My wife: Liz Blake:  She is on the course of going through some emotional healing.  Pray for her deep heart wounds to be healed.  Pray that she makes it through her journey with a greater focus on God and greater intimacy with God as Father so that she may truely know him.  May this process draw God’s song from within, out toward others.  As the internal is healed and revealed may the changes be evident physically.

For my brother and his family: Rob, Mary, and Anant Blake:  Pray that they are given strength to endure the trials. Pray that God’s love pours out from their midst and serves as a healing balm.  May the tears of suffering sooth the recesses of pain and may the sorrow lead to joy.  May they be able to show God’s love to young Anant and may he be a vessel spreading God’s love and cheer so that all may love to God and declare that He is good. May Anant’s very presence draw people to the love and joy of the Lord.

For Nancy Kimmey:  Mary Blake’s mother who is struggling with matastesized breast cancer logged in her bones.  Pray that the love of God enfold her broken heart.  May she be given moments of clarity admist the pain and fog that she may see and taste that God is good.  May she see that God has always been faithful. Holding her heart in His hands.  He has seen her great sorrow and brokenness and His love for her is unfaded. May even the light of a child give her strength and comfort and may she find that her true rest is in Jesus.

Pray for my uncle Fred Friswold:  He recently had a relapse of testicular cancer.  He has a heart that is failing.  I pray that he receives a touch of God’s love.  In the journey ahead may he see God’s love and truth. May he see the permance of God’s salvation in contrast to  the temporary satifactions of this life.  May he draw close to God truely, and may any barriers to the Gospel of peace in his lift quickly fade and may God’s peace rule his heart.

For my mother-in-law:  Sonia Bezerra Almedia that God may see her through the minor health issues that seek to drag her down. May she always have strength to serve God and serve him with love. May His love, grace, and truth continue to flow from her. May she be an ongoing vessel sharing the bread of life and living water with those around her, wherever she goes. May her heart wounds be filled with God’s love and truth.

For my brother-in-law Lon Davisson Almeida: May God use him to draw others to the Gospel. May the church he has been called to lead Fellowship Macieo be a place of truth, grace, and peace.  May God’s love sign forth. May any barriers of the Gospel be torn down and may God’s work be accomplished. May he and his family be protected from the wiles of the enemy. Keep him and his family on the true path and may they not stray to the left or right. 

For the rest of extended family who have employment, family, and various other concerns.  May they be drawn to seek after the one true God in the midst of any storm.  If their eyes are blind to the Gospel of God’s true peace may their eyes be opened.  May God move in their lives through the storms that come and may they see God in the midst. 

Finally pray for me:  Pray for this blog, that I can communicate in a clear manner that shines the light of truth and ultimately draws others in to a sound, deep relationship with Jesus the Messiah.  May God’s will be done on the path set before me and may God’s directions be ever clear.

_____

Sadly the cancer returned and she did 12/29/2010. Yet, God is still worthy of praise.  What was but a moment is now eternal.  Healing in this life always temporary, God’s setting all things right is still to come.  Praise God for His answer and for How he works all things out according to His purpose and His glory.