How does God work in our life?
This is what every Christian likes to experience: God's Spirit in action. The desire for it is so great that some would like to help out and call in the Spirit of God to work at certain times of the day, for example to a healing service, and to use certain methods, such as the right music and the right event atmosphere, to get it going. But he works where he wants and how he wants. The person of the spirit has a will which is entirely in accordance with that of God and Jesus. He can be asked, but neither commanded nor manipulated. But why does it often seem that the Holy Spirit intervenes so spectacularly in others, while one's own life as a Christian seems so boring and ordinary that one might think that there is no Holy Spirit at all, or at least that he has been pausing for a longer time with us ?
When my children were little I loved going into the woods with them, and while they were walking around and they soon got bored, I was constantly discovering something new. A colorful beetle crawled there, delicious berries grew there, there were traces of a whole family of wild boars and a deer was hidden in the bushes. My children were in the same place and yet only saw things when I opened their eyes to them. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is at work today wherever there are Christians and beyond, but many lack the perspective for it. So let us try to train our eyes so that we can also perceive the living work of the Spirit of God.
1. Real life is not a biographical novel
Listening to the stories of some preachers or reading the biographies of well-known people from the kingdom of God, it is easy to fall into the fallacy that their lives were shaped every day or at least every week by the special intervention of the Holy Spirit. But that's not true. In every life there are mostly ordinary days of getting up, brushing your teeth, working, tidying up and going to bed. Even the greater part of the life of Jesus Christ was shaped by it, namely more than 30 years. It was no different with Paul's ministry. He sat in prison for years without the prison gates suddenly opening or an angel appearing to him. And otherwise there were certainly not a few days of long marches, work as a tent maker and the usual chores that are part of every person's life.
It is just as misleading to seek true life in the climaxes as it is to assume that the Holy Spirit is only there when it becomes spectacular. The search and longing for the special is suitable for becoming blind to wherever the spirit blows. Because its wafting can be a storm as well as a breath, but mostly it is just the quiet, gentle rustling (1 Kings 19: 11-13). But the misalignment can also easily be used as a seduction, in order to lure us away from the actual work of the Spirit with fanfare.
2. Joy in salvation
For many years the people of Israel were provided with manna, bread from heaven, in the desert. It was spectacular at first, but soon it became ordinary and even boring and cause for grumbling. But the miracle on the first day was the same as after a year and after 30 years. But it could be forgotten and that is dangerous for our faith (cf. Deuteronomy 8). So do many Christians even with the miracle of their salvation. They forget that they themselves were raised from the dead and every day of Christian life is a testimony of this: "I was dead in sin, but now I live by faith" (Eph 2: 4-9). That was a work of the spirit on you, you are newborn. It goes without saying that we don't gratefully celebrate every breath. But to underestimate what Jesus paid for with his life is dangerous and ungrateful. Can you believe that you are a child of god? Then the Holy Spirit does it at that moment (Rom 8:16). This is more than a great experience or the changeable feeling of closeness to God.
3. Rejoicing in the body of Christ
Paul considers it normal for joy and suffering to be shared in the body of Christ. “When one member suffers, all others suffer with it, and when one is honored, the others rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26). Especially today we live with a density of information also with regard to what God is doing worldwide with his church, that we can no longer get out of rejoicing, for example that God in China not only spectacularly preserved his believers, but also built church . I am delighted that, despite the pressure of the mullah regime, communities have emerged in Iran, people have found faith and are constantly being preserved wonderfully. I am a member of the body to which these Christians also belong. I'm not right there and maybe my life seems more boring to me. But that would be a disregard for the fact that all of these things and much more happen to that one body that I am a member of, and Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit must then teach me even more that I can really enjoy myself when people come to faith somewhere, churches grow, Christians experience miracles, etc.
4. Open your eyes!
For some time now, my life has seemed very exciting to me from a spiritual point of view, and that is because over the years of my faith I have gotten into the habit of looking at things from a certain perspective. I go through my life asking where and how the gospel of salvation through Jesus works. When I visit someone who is sick, I don't pray for their wonderful healing first. I wonder if in this situation, perhaps in the face of death, the gospel will have power. Can it comfort people? Does the message have power even in the bed of a dying man? Is it true what the Bible says when a marriage threatens to break up? Does the power of forgiveness work when a person is entangled in serious guilt? I don't feel discouraged and bury my head in the sand. Instead, like an entomologist with a magnifying glass, I want to look carefully in every situation to see whether the message can pass. I am not disappointed, but regularly experience that I perceive the power of the Gospel in new situations in human life. But the power of the gospel is the working of the Holy Spirit (Rom 1.16; Eph 1.18-20).
5. God's Spirit in my normal life
I could also relate some spectacular events of God's ministry over the past 40 years, and sometimes I do. But now I am much more enthusiastic about other observations in my normal life. For example, God's Spirit has given me a pretty good ability to see through. People can rarely deceive me. I am pleased. It saved me from many liars and dazzlers - including Christian ones. But what I am even more happy about and also wonder about is that I can still love people. I am not imagining it. I think it's a miracle of the Holy Spirit. Actually, I should be a misanthropist, someone who no longer speaks well to people because they are all bad, but the fruit of the spirit includes love that believes and endures and wants to cover up evil. If I look at my family history, I see a lot of bad guilt and bad failure over generations. And then I wonder gratefully that it was and is God's spirit that made a different life possible for me. Sometimes I pause for a moment to test myself to see if I want someone else's life, perhaps with more wealth, prestige, and success. But I get back very quickly to the fact that I could perhaps wish for one or the other raisin from someone else's life, but that God has given me “a beautiful inheritance”. I don't want to swap places with anyone. I could go on like this and summarize it like this: The Spirit gave me a deep inner joy through faith in Christ, which even situations of fear, worry, anger and failure cannot destroy.
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