A couple of months ago at church we had a Pastor from overseas visiting. In the morning service at the end of his sermon he asked who would like to receive from God what he had been preaching about. I felt the Holy Spirit say "Put your hand up." So I did.
In the evening service, the visiting Pastor was preaching again. After the sermon he invited people to come out for prayer. I felt the Holy Spirit say, "Go out for prayer." So I did.
When it was my turn to be prayed for I explained what had happened in the morning service, and why I had come out for prayer. He said something like, "Okay" and started the praying for me. One of the things he said during the prayer was, "You have been holding God's hand, now let God hold your hand." And then he demonstrated it, taking my right hand reaching up to hold God's hand; then with a hand reaching down to hold my hand.
I was perplexed. What does that mean? How do I do that? Here is my processing over the next few days ...
Start with a simple prayer, "God, I don't know how to do that, please show me."
Then search for scriptures about God holding our hand.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:13 NKJV
That's a good start, meditate on that scripture
Still having difficulty understanding, so I think about what it is like for me as a parent when I reach out to hold my child's hand. What is their response - they take my hand, and let me gently guide them with a firm and safe grip.
Okay, now I am starting to understand, a little. I need to release my grip, re-position my hand, so God is doing the guiding, not me.
But what does that look like practically?
Literally a laying down of my plans and only acting when the Holy Spirit prompts. This is the strategy I have been using with my book project, and I have seen the fruit of doing it God's way - the doors opening easily in His timing. Now God was telling me I needed to use the same strategy with this children's creative ministry - only plan as the Holy Spirit prompts; only do what the Holy Spirit shows me to do, and when He shows me to do it.
Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’ Isaiah 41:13 The Message
With the children's creative ministry, due to a change in circumstances with some members of our team, we were going to have to change the way we were running the program. So, the first step, "God, we have to change this, how do we do it?"
His practical answer, "Use this format, invite these people to help." We have done as He said, and He has breathed something fresh upon the children and we are seeing their creative gifts coming forth in new ways. It's so good!
Thank you God for speaking to me, telling me how I needed to change, so we could then change what we are doing with the program and have a greater impact on this next generation.
For the past year I have had a book (well actually 4 books) sitting on my bedside table, and I haven't started reading any of them. A couple of weeks ago I was prompted to start reading one of them, a compilation of 9 of Derek Prince's books, Derek Prince on Experiencing God. The first book in the compilation is The Holy Spirit in You. Very interesting God, You are making sure I really get the message about relying less on my abilities and more on the Holy Spirit!
Here is a passage from the chapter 'Our indwelling helper'....
"What does it mean for us, practically, that the Holy Spirit has come to be our Paraclete? We will being by looking again at the passage in John 14:16-18 where Jesus gave this specific promise:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor [Paraclete] to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. [You can see that this is a promise only for believers, not the world.] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (NIV)
"The word paraclete, derived from a Greek source, was simply transliterated into English. It literally means "someone who is called alongside to help." A Paraclete is someone who can do something for you that you cannot do for yourself." Page 27
Wow, that is who is available to us as believers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, someone, the Holy Spirit, who can do things for us that we cannot do for ourselves. It is so important that we are regularly reminded of this truth so we can be as effective as possible in doing what God has called us each to do.
And if you are like me, a planner, that reminder might just have to come from God via another believer from another country, in a very direct manner. Just as it did for me in this example with this visiting Preacher from overseas. Praise God for the freedom in this country to gather, hear the word of God and pray for one another in Jesus Name.
One final thought, let's always be open to learning more of God's ways and giving Him time and space to speak into our lives.
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