Friday: Further Thought – The Holy Spirit Working Behind the Scenes

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No question, the work of the Holy Spirit is crucial to our walk with the Lord. Again, we might not be able to see Him work, but we can see the effect of His work in our lives and in the lives of others. If your life has been changed through faith in Jesus, it has been changed only through the work of the Holy Spirit in it. “While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt.

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 173. These are wonderful promises, and an untold number of lives have shown just how real they are. But the work of the Holy Spirit is not instantaneous. We don’t automatically become the kind of people we ought to be. A life of faith and submission to the Lord is a life of struggle, of surrender, and of repentance when we fail. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Agent that works in our lives to make us new creatures in Christ. This is, though, the work of a lifetime. Though our faults and weaknesses should spur us onto a greater surrender to our Lord, we must not let the devil use them to discourage us in our Christian life, which he is always eager to do. When taunted by our sins, we must always remember the death of Jesus on behalf of sinners. It’s precisely because we are what we are, sinners in need of grace, that Jesus died for us and gives us that grace.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What can the Holy Spirit’s example teach you about ministering from behind the scenes? That is, doing the work of the Lord in a manner that many people don’t know about, see, or even appreciate?
  2. How does the Holy Spirit elevate Jesus and put Him into focus? How can you elevate Jesus without putting yourself at the center of the attention? Why is that sometimes so hard to do? How can we fight the natural inclination to self-promotion?
Amen!(2)

1 comment(s) for this post:

  1. Robbie Noordzy:

    12 Jan 2017
    In a world of so many competing thoughts and ideas as they relate to spiritual truths, in last weeks lesson we are given peace and assurance that by the Holy Spirit we will be led into all truth. The real beauty of scripture will be revealed to those who desire the words of life… and they are life to us.

    In this week’s lesson as we take a journey from creation and the fall, the wilderness temple to the life of the Redeemer Himself, we see the Holy Spirit in an essential but ever supportive role. Never in a glorified position… always the bridesmaid but never the bride so to say. Yet at the same time we see a beauty and a joy. Just as the movement of trees and leaves bear evidence of the winds passing so too the lives and hearts lifted up bear evidence of the passing of the Holy Spirit.

    As parents we organize birthday parties for our kids. Behind the scenes there is a lot to organize – the invitations, cake, food, games, cleaning… does the list end? At the time for the party we stand back and all the attention is given to them. Their joy is our joy.

    I do like the point in Wednesday’s lesson which brings out that, even more specific than glorifying Jesus, His work consists in elevating the redemptive work of Jesus.

    While it’s true that God is worthy of all praise and glory and honour, it is not something that He seeks or demands. Like our keeping of the commandments it’s a love response.

    Throughout the biblical narrative the focus has always been that of redemption and restoration and it is to this end in harmony with the Father and Son that the Holy Spirit strives. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.

    Two weeks ago we might have been able to say very little about the working of the Holy Spirit yet in these 2 short weeks our appreciation will have grown immensely. A practical lesson we can take from this week is to be of the same mind. That in all our dealings with others as far as our intentional acts go, we should ever seek to elevate Jesus and as John said – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 – the joy and transformation of the lives we touch should ever be our joy and reward.

    Regarding the 2nd discussion question it’s worth noting with your class that we should draw a distinction between putting ourselves at the centre of attention and feeling that our contribution is appreciated.

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