It’s Time To Look Up and See Our Saving Grace

Jude 1:24 (WEB)

Promise 270: I will keep you from falling until you joyfully stand blameless in My presence.
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The Gift Of Joy and The Holy Spirit

The Gift Of Joy And The Holy Spirit
Relationship with the Holy Spirit empowers us to live a lifestyle of consistent joy. It’s only by the filling of the Spirit that we have access to the deep reservoirs of joy found in the heart of our heavenly Father. Galatians 5:22 is clear that the fruit of the Spirit for believers is to be joy– so as temples of the Holy Spirit we need to search out what it looks like to allow the fruit of joy to be evident in our hearts and lives. 

Scripture is filled with direct connections between the filling of the Holy Spirit and joy. Romans 14:17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 says, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 says, “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.” 

We are not designed to have joy in ourselves, but by the dwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. As the disciples began to be filled with the Holy Spirit, their lives changed dramatically. They went from fearful, fair weathered followers of Jesus to joy-filled, sacrificial and empowered world changers. They had joy in the midst of intense persecution because they had the Holy Spirit filling them with the fruits of his indwelling. 

We have the same Holy Spirit the disciples had, and he longs to do the same kind of works in you and me today as he did in them thousands of years ago. He longs to fill us with joy in the midst of any trial or pain. He longs to heal and transform our hearts into greater reflections of God’s goodness. He longs to make us a people so joyful that there is no other explanation for our joy other than God is with us. 

So, how do we allow the Spirit to bear the fruit of joy in our lives? How do we grow in our relationship with this mysterious part of the Godhead? It all starts with a posture of humility and prayer. The Holy Spirit never forces us into deeper relationship with him. He is peaceful, powerful, loving and patient. You must make time to respond to his small tugs on your heart in order to walk in greater relationship with him. You must humble yourself and ask for more of him– whatever that looks like. Allow the truth of God’s love and faithfulness to cast out any fear or reservation about a lifestyle of total connection with the Holy Spirit. Ask him to fill you to overflowing today and guide you to a lifestyle of bearing the fruit of intimate relationship with him. 

The Spirit knows how to guide our hearts. He knows if we were made more introverted or extroverted. He knows if we are made more intuitive, pragmatic or logical. And he knows the perfect ways to guide us into deeper, more fruitful lives. Spend time allowing the Spirit to lead you into a life filled with more joy. Allow him to speak to you and lead you in whatever ways he desires. And rest in his loving presence as you learn what it is to reach greater depths of relationship with him. 

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the importance of relationship with the Holy Spirit in having joy. Allow Scripture to stir up your desire for deeper intimacy with the Spirit. 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17 

“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his nearness. Ask him to help you become more aware of his presence in your life. 

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to greater depths of joy. Ask him to bear the fruit of joy in your life throughout any and every circumstance. Spend time allowing him to show you what might be in the way of you and the portion of joy afforded to you by his dwelling within you. 

The absolute best way we can live is in total and complete surrender to the Holy Spirit. When we allow him to take the reigns of our lives, he guides us to far greener and more abundant pastures than we could ever find ourselves. He has the ability and desire to lead us into the fullness of God’s plans for our lives, but we must be willing to follow him wherever he would lead us. Follow his direction today. Look for his guidance. And walk into a life filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
for Holy Ghost Catholic School/ Church, Houston Texas…..DJS

 

Peace Or Possessions

Peace Or Possessions

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.
— Proverbs 17:1

I have a friend who made a living out of building custom luxury homes and then selling them. In between the time that the houses were built and sold, my friend and his family would live in them. This was a practical decision that saved the family much-needed money. I once asked his wife if she enjoyed this by-product of her husband’s business. She said, “You know what? I have lived in simple homes and in luxury homes and this is what I’ve learned: When you close your eyes at night to go to sleep, they are all exactly the same!”

It dawned on me that we don’t really live in our homes; we reside in our bodies. Our house can be simple and humble or elegant and luxurious, but at the end of the day, none of that dictates how we feel. How we think, what we believe, and whether or not we have peace is what determines how we feel when we close our eyes at night. Our bodies are with us all day and all night; they are our true abode. The things we place in our heads and hearts are far more important than the things we have in our homes.

This is what King Solomon meant in Proverbs when he wrote: “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” It’s better to possess little but live with peace and quiet than to attain all that there is to have but live in a state of turmoil. The sages taught that this rings true in regards to our actual homes – they need not be lavish, but they do need to be peaceful. It is also true for our bodies – we don’t need a lot, but we need peace of mind to be happy.

Our generation is in need of this wisdom more than any other. Ironically, because we have the ability to have more, we stand the risk of being less happy than previous generations. In fact, studies have shown that our generation is more melancholy than ones before us who have lived with less. Moreover, studies have indicated that people in countries with the highest standard of living did not correlate with the happiest people, but sometimes countries with far less at their disposable contained some of the happiest people in the world.

Let’s remember that peace of mind is more satisfying than anything that we put in our stomach. Good relationships with our loved ones is far greater than anything that money can buy. Everyone wants to find happiness, but only some will look in the right places.

DJS

The Gift Of Solitude

The Gift of Solitude
“Like water, which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so
long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the
true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.”
– Indra Devi

Solitude is a vital experience we require in order to grow and
expand our consciousness.  Being by yourself in quiet with no other
distractions is one of the best ways to connect deeply with
yourself, nature and your inner voice.  Some Personality Types tend
to have a resistance to that kind of experience because of their
Focus of Attention.

However, solitude is a recommended practice for everyone and the
more you don’t want to do it, the more you will grow from the
experience.

Solitude is not about being closed down or putting up walls against
intrusion. The kind of solitude that will help you grow and deepen
is when you purposely choose to be by yourself in the silence. It
is not about escaping, it is about stepping into something inviting.

If this subject is making you uncomfortable, start practicing with
thirty minutes at a time and slowly build up to several hours. Once
you have increased to that level, it is recommended that you spend
an overnight by yourself. There are many retreat centers that offer
that kind of experience in groups, if that feels safer to you, or
you can go away by yourself.

However you orchestrate your solitude, don’t take anything but a
journal to write in. No books to read, music to play or movies to
watch.  Walking in nature is recommended.  It is best to talk or
text others as little as possible.  In this fast-paced world our
nervous systems can easily be overloaded and even though your
Personality Type might crave stimulus, your body and nervous system
crave quiet and solitude.  Try it and see what pearls of wisdom and
benefits you gain.

“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence.
but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”
– Anna Freud

Today will bring you a new awareness, a lesson or a manifestation
that you are making progress – IF YOU LOOK FOR IT!  No matter how
large or small, please record it in your Evidence Journal. It will
only take a few moments and will AUTOMATICALLY put you in the Flow.

DJS