In 1995 I was sent to Kiev, Ukraine, with YWAM, as a missionary. In our first week there we found an apartment to move into for our stay. It was customary to have the church leader come over and pray over the new home or space. It can be compared to what we do in the US called a house-warming or house-blessing. We decided to invite the assistant pastor, of the church we were working with, over for dinner.
That night as we were preparing a typical meal of eggs, potatoes and ham there was a knock at the door.
It was the assistant pastor.
“Come on in” we said after a brief hug.
He stepped in and instantly froze. We were surprised of course by the abrupt interruption. He didn’t move and judging from his blank stare seemed to be engrossed in thought. The he looked at us.
He said in Ukrainian…”something is wrong here”.
He slowly walked into the apartment and towards the bedroom. He then proceeded to get on his hands and knees and reach under the bed. When his hand came back out again we were amazed to find him holding an occult book of some sort.
I was floored. Actually my whole team was.
I was at a loss for words and in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit.
How could he do this? Was this man was so in tune with the Holy Spirit that he could sense when things were not of God in a room
This story is a perfect example of how vital it is to stay connected with the Holy Spirit.
In 2 Corinthians 13:14, it says:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, amen.”
Staying connected with the Holy Spirit also gives us a third party. A tuning fork if you will for life that keeps Christians united to the same key. This is the importance of Christian Community. If the same Holy Spirit that leads me leads you as well we can walk together in agreement.
Getting in tune with the Spirit is a daily process. A few steps to this are:
Identity – getting rid of your old identity and finding your identity in Christ
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Prayer – Continuous prayer and putting God’s will first in your life
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Sacrifice – setting aside your own life
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
Listening – too often we pray and never listen to God speaking or answering. Distractions can get overwhelming and it is simple to say “be still” rather than to actually be still. The Spirit can help quiet the noise.
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Questions to ponder:
How in-tune to the Spirit are you these days?
Have you ever been able to hear from the Spirit like the assistant pastor could?
Which of the 4 steps do you need to work on and why?
An excerpt from a book I am writing with Adam Fagan-Kela and Jack Osteen