How Can the Holy Spirit Make a Difference in Your Life?
Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit - Acts 2:38
When you invited the Holy Spirit into your life, how did it change you if at all? I've tried in the past to invite him into my life, but I felt nothing ever really happened, but this time, I have to say it was different. I would like to share with you my experience and what it felt like to have the Holy Spirit weave his way into my life. It's going to be a little hard for me to put it into words, but I'm going to try my best.
I've been reading quite a bit of Christian literature this year because I wanted a firmer grasp of what Christian living really looked like from the inside. In the past, I would have considered myself a surface Christian. I definitely wasn't as into my faith back then like I am now. For the first time, I felt genuinely convicted by the Holy Spirit. Before, it was a kinda sorta feeling if that makes sense. I now understand that what I thought was harmless, really wasn't harmless by the Holy Spirit that lives inside me. By mistake, I put my faith in a box. You can never put God in a box so I don't even know why I tried. Faith in God was still a part of my life but not in a way that honored God 100%. I understand we will never be perfect. We will always have temptations knocking at our door and we will always be making stupid mistakes until the day we die, but there are certain things we can be mindful of and this is what I'm going to share with you.
There was a time in my life when I didn't know much about the Holy Spirit. I didn't know how he worked separate from God and Jesus. I know they all work together as one forming the Trinity, but I didn't quite realize the power that the Holy Spirit has until now. I have lived a fairly prudent life, but there was also a side of me that was wordly to some extent. I knew something was missing. I knew that I was lacking something crucial, but I couldn't put my finger on it until now. It took a lot of prayer and study on my part so that the Holy Spirit could create a change from within me. When you think about it, it's hard for any of us Christians not to have some worldy attributes rub off on us or overtake us in some way or another.
The first step was prayer. After reading some Christian literature, I came upon a prayer in the back of a book which invited the Holy Spirit into my life to transform me. I didn't know quite what to expect and then it hit me gradually over the next few weeks. I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me. It was very much like having a gardner pulling out all the weeds that were killing my spiritual life. He showed me over time the areas in my life that needed remodeling shall we say. He helped me to understand what's okay and what's not okay. I felt like somebody was giving my thought life a badly needed shampoo and conditioning. It's like being washed of things you didn't quite realize were not good for you.
I also read quite a few books on integrity recently. They really helped me to understand that there are no doors between you and Jesus, especially when it comes to love and relationships. If you have a door between you and Jesus, then something is not right and something has to give. Many times it's the reason why your walk is awkward and confused. Jesus has access to everything. You can't hide a thing from him. When the Holy Spirit makes his home inside your body, mind and soul, he's helping you clean everything on a regular basis,.
You come from a mindset where you think worldy thoughts that are presented as quite normal in magazines and movies to a mindset where you think "No, that's not okay." The Holy Spirit in me starts convicting me of just how wrong it is. The pleasures you thought were once so harmless were actually harming your spiritual life. When we sin either through thought or deed, we weaken the communication line we have with Jesus. I feel the Holy Spirit provides the life line and keeps it working, but it can't work if it's clogged with garbage that this world throws at us. This world has us believe that "It's okay. No big deal." The truth is it is a big deal and it's definitely not harmless. It hurts our spiritual growth and development.
Just when you think you understand what's going on, the Holy Spirit goes one step further beyond your thought process. You begin to feel a greater desire to help others in a more proactive way, whether it be with your family, your church, etc. It's as if the Holy Spirit reorganizes in your heart what's important and what needs to be done now, not later. It's almost like having a spiritual teacher in the control box of your mind. Your occasional flesh thoughts are replaced by spiritual thoughts of wanting something cleaner, better and more respectful within you because that is where the Holy Spirit resides. Before the transformation, it's like living in a roomful of dust bunnies, but now that the Holy Spirit has convicted you, you want to start dusting the heck out of that room.
I'm not sure how long this feeling will last, but I know something has changed within my soul and it is a good, wholesome and honest feeling. I want to keep it like that because it brings me great peace. I want to honor God not because I have to, but because I love him and I want to please him. I was a different person before I was convicted. I was a mediocre Christian looking in from the outside and now I feel I'm inside looking out and I'm finally understanding just what it means to have the Holy Spirit working in my life.
Can you relate in some ways to my experience? It's hard to put it into words because I feel like a small part of me has died. There was this small part of me that was living a Lie, and that was the Lie that satan gives us dressed up as light that says that it's okay to entertain within us certain thoughts that God would find displeasing. I'm not striving for perfection because I know I was born a sinner and I'll never be saved by works, but I want to make it clear that this isn't about works, its about the shape of my soul as if it were a piece of pottery, and I how I feel it's being reshaped into something much nicer than before with the help of the Holy Spirit.