Be Strong in Spirit to be “All In” with relationship to Jesus the Christ – When Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with … all your soul”, He was referring to the spiritual component of our relationship with Him. He told his disciples, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” – John 14:16. The disciples were filled with the Spirit at Pentecost and equipped to minister under the influence of the Holy Spirit from that point on.
Paul’s word in Romans conveyed similar encouragement – “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” – Rom. 8:15-16. The charge is to stay under the influence of the Holy Spirit in all we do.
Failure to stay under the influence of the Holy Spirit opens the door to bad choices and love of something other than the Lord. I lived for years prioritizing a commitment made to myself at a young age that I would live above the poverty line that my family lived below when I was growing up. My focus was on working hard and attaining financial security. My faith was in me and I loved the dollar. Through Paul’s words above, the Holy Spirit helped me realize that I was actually a slave to the fear of failure to provide well for my family. I had to confess my weak faith and idol worship. By His grace I embraced a stronger walk under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Tips to Be Strong in Spirit:
- Spend daily time in prayer & scripture – I started with the letters, one or two chapters at a time and then moved to the gospels;
- Fast and journal – Establish a routine fast from noise in your life, it may be food, television or other technology. Use that time to write out one or two questions you have for God then listen, and note His nudgings through the Holy Spirit;
- Worship 24/7 – Praise God for the sunrise or a thunderstorm rolling through; thank Him for that call or a business deal that came together; honor Him as He gives you a glimpse of His glory in marriage or in the eyes of your kids.
Peter addressed the crowd - “These men are not drunk as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’” – Acts 2:15-17. The Holy Spirit had come to rest on the disciples and they were truly under the influence of Him, as we should be.
Prayer guide: Lord, grant me strength to love You with all my soul. I confess my weak faith and even idol worship. Fill me with Your Spirit, O God and bring men into my life that will encourage me and hold me accountable on a closer walk with You. Amen
A faithful father is strong in the Spirit and loves the Lord with all his soul.