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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)

TITLE: The Missed Holy Spirit
By pleheney silva


Christians do understand that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. However, many of us continue to glide toward performance-based relationship with God. We have this natural tendency to base our confidence in Godís favor on those times when we obeyed. We think it is right to believe that our prayers are answered because we are walking righteously with God. This train of thought brings a Christian to a dangerous ground. The mind understands very well the teachings about grace and the lips perfectly confess the same thing, but evidences of these are no where to be found when the depth of the heart is closely examined. Because deep down there, the flesh still dominates. There is still this dependency on the all sufficient self.
Same is true when we sin or when we disobey. We feel frustrated about ourselves, dismayed by our defeat in the spiritual battle, depressed about our weakness, and ashamed before our holy and loving God. To make the scenario even worse, our selfishness is revealed by our fear of the consequences brought about by our disobedience. We think more of ourselves and of what will become of us. We actually think less of Godís glory. When we realize this, our guilt becomes marrow deep. Indeed, it is a struggle. It is a battle. It is a battle of resisting the dependency on the too absorbed self.
Now, the question comes to mind: Why do these things happen? Why is there a battle of resisting on the self despite and inspite of our knowledge about the sufficiency of Godís unmerited grace? As one Christian author says, ďYou can be theologically astute and be dramatically spiritually immature.Ē The truth of the matter is it is not enough to store up Bible knowledge in our heads. We more importantly need to constantly ask God to fill us with His Spirit that we may not depend on ourselves or on the disciplines we have consistently followed, but on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. We should then not be surprised if life seems to become boring, tiring cycle of struggles to the point of reaching that end of wanting to give up, if to begin with we have missed to ask for the Holy Spiritís control over every detail of our lives.
ďIf you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!Ē (Luke 11:13). Every Christian has been endowed with the Holy Spirit that moment when he or she received Jesus as Lord and Savior. However, not every Christian is empowered by the Holy Spirit. We need to be kept being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18) as we continually face a series of choices every day-- even the choice of relying on ourselves or on the enabling power of the Spirit. Never expect not to be sinning every now and then even in the midst of your passion and zeal to obey God if you are striving in your flesh and not allowing the Holy Spirit to control you. Never expect no to linger in depression every time you fail if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit to help you get up and rise. Often times we utter a lot of prayer requests to God and express our desire to honor and please Him, but we miss to ask for the filling of His Spirit who empowers us to put Godís Word in application in real-life situations.
Expect your Christian walk to be not a walk in the park. The more one gets to know Christ through His Word, the greater the sensitivity there is to the opportunities in applying His Word. And no Christian no matter how mature he or she may seem to be can do this on his or her own. Just like justification, sanctification is a gift from God and an expression of His grace. Just like sanctification, the filling of the Holy Spirit is not a one time experience but a progressive nick. Praise God for we just donít have His saving grace, but we also have His keeping grace.

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This article has been read 226 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jody Day 07/19/13
A lot of information packed into the word count. I especially liked the last sentence.

Try to break up into paragraphs and leave spaces between for easier reading. Good job:)
Larry Whittington07/20/13
Consistent theme.

Shorter paragraphs make for easier reading.

Short sentences can be powerful. "It is a battle!"

The words of the Holy Spirit are silent so we need to listen harder in order to hear them.
C D Swanson 07/23/13
Lots of vital information packed into this powerful devotional. You did a nice job of bringing your thoughts and messages together with the passages, making it a beautiful read.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/23/13
You make some interesting points and present it in a way that most people can relate to and understand. Make sure when you quote someone that you cite it and give the author the credit in an Author's note. This doesn't add to the word count either.I really like your last line. It's a great way to end and really sums up your message. Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/27/13
Congratulations on ranking 10th in level 1! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.)