Encounter: There's something that happens when our lives collide with God's life giving Spirit. As we are talking about how we experience the Holy Spirit here and now, we can be aware and respond to God's invitation to transformation knowing this journey only leads to good things, good for us and good for others. Find a quiet space to read or listen to these Scriptures:
Ezekiel 11:19 -I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 36:26 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
2 Tim. 1:13-14 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Come along with Pastor Tammy on the Cardinal Greenway as she invites us to understand conversion or new life as a journey or pathway to be explored not a one-time event. Then reflect on the questions below to become more aware of where the Holy Spirit has been actively drawing your attention to bring you alive to God's presence.
Reflect: Many times when we hear about conversion, the emphasis is on us and we can begin to think that we convert ourselves. The New Testament places us right in the middle of God's story of redemption when He is the One who is pursuing His "lost" creation. God initiates and enables us to understand and receive. "No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).
The Holy Spirit brings us alive to God's presence in the midst of our own unique lives and making relevant His Good-News story to our particular circumstances. God begins to take our hearts of stone and through an intentional journey transforms our hearts making them receptive to His movement and refinement.
Spiritual Practice: This week spend time on the Cardinal Greenway talking to God and thinking about the journey you have been on with God so far in your life. Take time to write down in a journal the answers to these questions:
What life circumstances led up to your coming alive to God for the first?
What part of God’s good-news story first impacted your life?
What God-encounters happened?
Who did God bring across your path that prompted you to begin thinking about your relationship with God?
How did you first become aware of God’s love and grace?
How did you hear about the call to follow Christ?
Name one way your heart has been influenced by the Holy Spirit
Your answers to these questions will help you see more clearly how Holy Spirit worked in your life to draw you to Christ.
Close your time with this prayer:
“Heavenly Father, my body is a temple of Your Holy Spirit Who dwells within me to lead and guide me. I am not alone nor without wisdom. I will not take this lightly as I ponder how the creator of the universe would live in me. I must give You honor in how I think, what I say, where I go, what i do, and what I allow in these eye and ear gates You have given me. And to know all this because of Your great love for me. You, Father, SO LOVED this world You Gave. I receive what You have given and accept You to lead this temple of Yours. What an honor! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Gather: Share your experience while on the Cardinal Greenway or while imagining Psalm 16:11 pathways of God when the Holy Spirit brings you alive to God’s presence.