Encounter: If you are able go to a stream, creek, or river nearby, and take your Bible to read and reflect on scriptures John 7:37-39 and Psalm 8 and take in the scenery. If you are unable or do not have a waterway near you, picture one that you can recall while reading the scripture.
As we wrap up our series on Holy Spirit, Here and Now, you have had an opportunity to grow in your relationship with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and one another. We have learned that God works in our lives here and now through the Holy Spirit residing within us. The gift of the Spirit brings us alive to God, draws us into a deeper shared life with God and one another, changes us inwardly, guides us in our decision-making process, helps us to pray, empowers us to witness, leads us into the desert, and engages us with suffering. The Holy Spirit can do so much more than what we have covered thus far. In our final message in this series, we are going to look at how the Holy Spirit helps us to experience more of the gifts God has for us. Abundant life is what God has in mind for us and the Holy Spirit is key to helping us see and live in abundant life here and now.
When we reflect on Psalm 8 our heart is open for the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the majesty of God’s creation. It is incredible as we witness the change of seasons from winter to spring and the buds begins to pop and yield its beautiful flowers and pleasant aroma. Then we transition into summer from spring and then to fall before winter which yields its beautiful fall colors and plentiful harvest of crops. “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we not only witness God’s beautiful creation but appreciate the creator and His glory. A river is an amazing part of God’s creation. Without a map, we are not able to determine its start or end. Most of the time, it never appears to stop flowing. The river provides life to its surroundings from human life to animal life, to the life of nature. The waters may rise, or they may shrink, but the water always flows. The Holy Spirit helps us to see this gift in an amazing way, when we slow down, breathe, and open the eyes of our heart.
In John 7 verse 37 and 38, Jesus tells that anyone who is thirsty to come to him and drink. Whoever believes in him, shall have rivers of living water flowing from within them. Jesus was describing the gift of the Holy Spirit that would be sent to believers. This gift from God is one that reminds of everything Jesus has taught through the Scriptures. This gift helps us to see God in creation which includes our loved ones, our neighbors, and those who are in need.
As the river always flows, giving its gift of life to its surroundings, so does the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit flows continuously within us and enlightens Gods gifts for us. Drink from the river of life that flows within us and see the abundant life God gives to you.
Reflect: Take time this week to look at God’s creation. Bathe in the beautiful colors and smell the crisp autumn air. In order to see God in his creation, we have to take the time, breathe, and open our hearts to see and hear the Holy Spirit reveal God to us. As you take in the scenery, smile and sing to Him; “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
Spiritual Practice: As you take time this week to walk in God’s created nature, perform a breath prayer. Breathe in deeply repeating to yourself “Abba!”. As you exhale slowly, repeat the words “I belong to you, your Spirit prays within me!” Allow the eyes of your heart to be opened so that you may see God in the gifts of life around you. Record in your Journal what the Holy Spirit reveals to you and close with “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
Gather: As you gather in your groups this week, begin with a breath prayer. Share with one another how you were able to see God present in your week through the gift of the Holy Spirit revealing to you through your listening. Share with one another the challenges and or resistance you had to overcome to be present with God where you were at. Pray for one another to find the strength to overcome the pressures of the world to find the time to be present with the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus here and now.