This is a daily devotional, designed to help you further think about The Calling that God has put on your life. We are using lines from the God’s Chisel skit, performed by the skit guys. Then we are looking at scripture that helps us further dig into how we can surrender greater control of our lives to the Lord.
February 8, 2021
God’s Chisel Phrase: God: “I love you too much to leave you where you are at. This salvation you have, I don’t want it to be some sentimental head knowledge. I want you to work it out in every detail of your life.”
Scripture: John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
As we consider that the calling for the Christian is full surrender to God, we really have to consider this question “How do I allow God to work in every area of my life?” We must first recognize that this is a wonderful place to be, when we genuinely look to give the Holy Spirit influence in every area of our life. However, at the same time we must also admit it is scary. It is a place where we are coming before God, wanting to be led into all truth, with a tension of still hanging on to our sin. Many believers experience moments of desiring full surrender, ready to give up or turn from anything that God would ask of them. But this moment passes…. And those who are not disciplined, who are not as serious as they thought, may make one or even a few adjustments to better pursue God. But the overwhelming idea of not knowing where to start, and how to give God control. At this juncture we have a tendency to naturally revert to a very similar place that we have functioned in for a long time.
One of our biggest weaknesses in surrendering to God is the expectation that we should be able to “just do it.” We want to surrender to God and we want to see results as quickly as we see a McChicken or ice cream cone after ordering. But the process is much longer and much deeper. We do need to remind ourselves daily to surrender to God. We need to mean it and we need to be intentional about how we pursue God. We need to change our expectation of immediate, 'just do it' change in our life to a more biblical perspective. One that recognizes it's not about my ability to change myself, it's about my willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to mold and shape me. God loves us too much to leave us in our sin, in our broken state. So when Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He didn’t promise a far-off God we could reach from time to time. He didn’t promise a place we could go to find God. These solutions would only help us progress in our bad habit of pursuing God well for a week or month at a time. Jesus didn’t want us to continue down this path, He wanted us to seek Him daily, to live in relationship with Him. His promise of the Holy Spirit is so much more than what anyone expected.
God wanted a far greater consistency in us, where each day we spend time with Him. The only way for this to happen is if we had direct access to Him. No matter where we are, what we are doing, or what is happening around us, that we could still interact with Him. So Jesus promised that His Spirit would live inside the believer, that Christians physical bodies would now become the temple where God’s presence is found (John 14:16-17). This means we have constant access to God. That we can always be led by His Spirit. More than that, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us to truth (John 16:13-14). As we lean into Him, study His word, and submit to His will, we will more clearly see the bigger picture of life. How God has been faithful to mankind throughout history, even though we have not been faithful to Him. We will better understand what is of God and what is not of God. Perhaps a clearer picture of how God may currently be working in the world. These two interactions with the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer are significant. This changes the game of life and gives us a clearer perspective. But this is not all the Spirit does.
We learn in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit, living inside us, leading us to truth naturally becomes our teacher. If you continue to read verse 27 you find that Jesus is speaking to peace. Not peace of mind because of having money, certainty of food, or even peace because you don’t have to sleep out in the snow. This peace that the Holy Spirit will give us, teaches us that peace in relationship. We are to be in right standing before God in relationship. We are also called to do the same with those around us. The Jewish word Shalom has to do with this type of peace. It is a sense of wholeness, completeness, health, security, and even prosperity at times. It goes beyond the physical to the spiritual and the Holy Spirit can teach us what it is like.
We also see the Holy Spirit as the sanctifier (Romans 8:1-17, Galatians 5). This is a natural role because He already lives in us, points us to truth, and leads us. To be sanctified is the process of becoming holy or being molded and shaped to be more like God’s character. The natural piece is because of everything already mentioned, but more so because God is Holy. The Holy Spirit is Holy. And what is holy is unable to take part in what is unholy. Therefore, since the Spirit lives in us, He will start the process of molding, shaping, transforming. But He won’t force our hand, we must submit to this process and allow for Him to do the good work. We are still sinful, fallen people, so we have to actively surrender on a regular basis, praying that God would help us to submit to this transforming work.
Because we need to be transformed, and there is a lifelong process of becoming more like Christ, that means that we have weaknesses. Many of them. Ones that are vast and deep. Ones that have caused scars and hurt relationships. Yet we should not be ashamed of our weakness. Instead, it should help us to remain humble. It should help us to always look hard in God’s direction. In Romans 8:26-27, we see how God helps us in our weakness. Here we see that we don’t know how to pray. We have an idea, of how we think we are supposed to pray, but we really don’t have enough depth in our being to really pray. So the Holy Spirit steps in with groans that are far deeper than our words or thoughts. And it is this communication to the Lord, from the Holy Spirit on our behalf, that helps align our hearts and minds with God’s plan. He has accounted for every weakness we have and given us the Holy Spirit to such lengths as to help us in every one of our short comings.
There are two more ways the Holy Spirit works in the life of the believer. He empowers believers (John 14:12, Acts 1:4-5, 8) and He gives us spiritual gifts to bless the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). These are both significant to believer as both have to do with building up other believers as well as reaching those who don’t yet know the Lord. Again, we see the Holy Spirit helping us in our weakness. But it is by this empowering and gifts that we are able to enter into God’s plan for all of creation. That we get to be put on mission to reach the lost for His kingdom! I hope you recognize the significance of this work and the fact that it is all God. We have NO ABILITY to do any good for His kingdom. Yet through the working of His Holy Spirit in our life, we can participate in the most important plan that will ever exist. God doesn’t want us to just know about Him, be aware of the mission, and encourage others to do it while we occasionally will have enough courage to make a small stand for God. Instead, He wants us to work out this empowering and these gifts that He has blessed us with in our life. To take a bold stance for the high king of heaven in all that we do, actively engaged in the way He is reaching the world. Anything less would be sentimental head knowledge.
Challenge: Commit to waking up every morning and start with a prayer of invitation to the Holy Spirit. To lead, guide, direct, and mold you today. Don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t worry about where you will be in a month. Pray that today, He would help your surrender to Him. Then pay attention. Practice being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do.
I encourage you to read each of the passages mentioned in this devotional. Take time to reflect, thank God for sending the Holy Spirit, and pray that you would submit to the Holy Spirit's working hands in your life.