INDWELT BY THE SPIRIT
One of the more challenging and humbling feelings a person can experience is loneliness. It could be the homesick college student, the recently widowed or the first-time guest sitting in a church pew. My pastoral ordination service was more than 20 years ago, but there are many things about that day I still recall.
One was a preacher by the name of Louis Smith. His message that day was meant to encourage and challenge. He said something I did not fully appreciate at the time, but it has been a perpetual help through the years. He stated, “Bobby, the ministry can be a lonely life. There will be times, even with others around you, that you are by yourself. Remember in those times, God has never left you. He is and will always be with you.” I can say from experience his words on that March afternoon were true and timeless.
Today we have more social networks and opportunities to connect with others than ever before. Yet loneliness continues to plague a countless number. In times like these God is with us. Friends, co-workers and even family members may choose to abandon us, but God Himself remains. In fact He has never left us. There are times I need to remind myself God is always present with us.
We must remain aware of His presence. For Christians today His presence is realized through the Holy Spirit. His indwelling provides a wealth of resources to remind us we are not alone.
The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. (9–11)
Although we are on the verge of the summer season, every day is Easter for the believer. Paul reminds us we are beneficiaries of resurrection power because of what Jesus did on our behalf. The Spirit that rose Christ from the dead lives within us today. That is powerful! As a result, our desires and actions should reflect righteousness and not the flesh.
The Holy Spirit leads every believer. (12–14)
When it comes to living each day by the Spirit and not the flesh, the heavenly Father knew we would need continual help. The answer to this need is the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It is wonderful to rest in the fact God knows our every need and provides help to fill those needs. We are never alone or expected to navigate the challenges of life by ourselves.
The Holy Spirit affirms every believer is a child of God. (15–17)
You may not fully realize it, but you are part of a big family. My mother recently counted how many first cousins she has. The result was several dozen, most of whom I have never met.
We belong to the family of God. Our acceptance comes by the gracious adoption of the Father. After adoption, we become His heirs. You do not have to take my word for it — verse 16 reveals the Spirit makes this possible.
All that is left for us is to respond with a resounding “Thank you!” The Scripture says we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit of God is within you. The promise Jesus gave the original disciples, He also gives to you.
God assures us with the words “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). You are not alone. I pray these truths will comfort you in your time of need.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Mississippi