Into the Spirit’s Hands

Into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

holy-spirit-comforter

Peter, Stephen, Barnabas and Paul (Acts 4:8, 6:5, 11:22-24, 13:9) were all filled with the Holy Spirit, as were many of Jesus’ followers (Acts 2:1-4). These four in particular committed their spirit into the hands of the Father, submitted wholly into the power of the Spirit’s leading.

Peter brought thousands to the Lord and became the head of the church in Rome. Stephen told the truth, and before he was martyred forgave those who murdered him. Barnabas was known as the encourager, and introduced Saul, later known as Paul, into the disciples’ circle. He mentored Paul during his first crucial years as a follower of Jesus. And Paul’s life was completely transformed when he gave his life over to Jesus and allowed the Spirit to guide his heart and mind.

When we listen to and abide in the Spirit, we become more loving, more joyful, more peaceful. We show more patience, kindness and generosity. We have more faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When we choose to ignore the Spirit, we become smaller, our vision becomes dimmer and our hearts become hardened.

“Being born again by the Spirit is an unmistakable work of God, as mysterious as the wind, as surprising as God Himself. It provides a freshness all the time in thinking, talking, and living – a continual surprise of the life of God. It gives us new vision and keeps us absolutely fresh for everything through the never-ending supply of the life of God.” Oswald Chambers, January 20, My Utmost for His Highest

When I forget that my heart and mind are lifted and empowered by the Spirit within me, my choices and words do not lead others – or myself – closer to the heart of Christ. When I forget that the Spirit reminds me of the words and love of Jesus, I do not lead others – or myself – into the embrace of my Father. When I forget God is with me, I forget to extend the abounding love and expansive grace He increases in me.

As I commit my spirit to His Spirit, I allow my mind and heart to be transformed daily. It enables me to more clearly and more often hear His voice. This act of surrender gives me the courage to follow His commands to love in His image. This willingness to abandon myself to Him brings me peace of mind and the ability to see others through the eyes of God.

“We do not become hopeful by talking about hope. We become hopeful by entering darkness and waiting for the light. We become hopeful by being honest with one another about our pain and then waiting, together, for God to show us a way toward healing.” Mark Yaconelli, The Gift of Hard Things*

The Spirit gives us hope in circumstances when we cannot see it. Abiding in the Spirit, we are buoyed by the promises of light, healing and inheritance. Bonded with the Spirit, we can know, if not today, there will be justice, equality and unity. In relationship with the Spirit, we aspire to the heights of God’s love and grace.

bridge-1To paraphrase Yaconelli, what if we could listen to the anger of others as a cry for justice, a plea for respect, a prayer for safety? What if every time we felt anger we, rather than succumbing to the enemy of rage, we stopped, let the Spirit still our mind, and listened more deeply? What if we decided we were willing to bridge the gap between “us” and “them?”

Lord, I pray that You open the President’s heart to compassion and graciousness, You give Congress and the country a thirst for unity, and awaken us all to the solidarity of Your purpose through Your love and grace.

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

 

*©2016 Mark Yaconelli, The Gift of Hard Things p.99, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL

17 comments

  1. I enjoyed this post.I have read it three times now. One thing thing the Lord showed me was that the pure in heart will see God. I truly believe that if we are to do as the disciples of old today, then we will join to have pure hearts. When I go to the Lord, I am reminded of the intentional sin in my life if I have any and I then know I must turn from it if I am to know God as he decided for me to and He knows me as he wants to. Then I will do these things Jesus did. Mel hit on a good point. It is the spirit that does the work not us. If so then do we want to try and work in the spirit through us with unpure hearts? If we will reach our cities and the lost then we must have pure hearts. Thank you for this truthful post.

    Blessings Tom

    Like

    1. I like what you’re saying here, Tom; great wisdom. And I think, as the Spirit works in us and through us, it’s not possible to join with the Spirit with an impure heart. Either we separate from the Spirit entirely, or the Spirit will transform our hearts.

      Blessings to you, and have a peaceful and joyous weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some very good points made here, Susan…let us be filled with the Holy Spirit as we deal with others, and guided by Him in times of disagreements with others. Let us seek resolution with those with whom we oppose. Stand for Christ’s teaching, but do so in a respectful way…

    Steve

    Like

    1. Amen to that, Steve.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen, Susan. I loved the Yaconelli quote about hope and your comments on it.
    Yielding to the Spirit in us instead of reacting is so important. What part of “apart from Me you can do nothing” don’t we get? It’s the Spirit in us that makes us like Jesus.

    Like

    1. Absolutely, Mel. Reacting in the moment has to do with losing self-control. When we lose self-control, we lose contact with the Spirit who showers us with love, power and self-control (2 Tim 1:7), and we become ineffective at drawing people to Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure Susan 😇

        Like

  4. Reblogged this on Pete Gardner's Blog and commented:
    Reblogged on Pete Gardner’s Blog. Good words to heed from Susan

    Like

    1. Thank you, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Susan,

    It’s so easy for us to forget following our own selfish desires is destructive.
    We want what we want when we want it.
    For a while we might fool ourselves into thinking that’s the way to live until the consequences catch up to us.
    Life is more peaceful and manageable living by the Spirit.
    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hey, Vernon. Thank you for this important comment. When we live daily in the Spirit, we begin to live in awareness and vigilance to His ways of being.

      Like

%d bloggers like this: