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1-28-18 The First 15

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The Weekly Overview
This week we’ll spend time stirring up our affections for God through the renewing of our minds. Your mind is the gateway to your affections. What you think is worthy of your affections is what will receive them. So, as we grow in our understanding of God’s overwhelming goodness we will naturally give him our hearts. May you be stirred by the unconditional love of your heavenly Father this week as his perfect nature is revealed to you in greater, more transformative ways.
The Scripture
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
-  Romans 8:26-27
The Worship Experience
Artist: United Pursuit
Song: Not In A Hurry
The Devotional
At salvation you were given the gift of God himself, the Spirit of Christ, dwelling within you. Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” And with the indwelling of the Spirit, friendship with God has been made available to greater depths than you can imagine. He longs to spend time with you like a friend. He longs for you to know how he feels, what he thinks is best and your heavenly Father’s heart for you.

Scripture teaches us a lot about the character of the Spirit. Acts 13:2 teaches us that the Spirit speaks: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” In Ephesians 4:30 we learn that the Spirit feels emotions like grief: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”Romans 8:26-27 teaches us that the Spirit is our Helper and prays for us: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Friendship with the Spirit is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. He speaks to us, is emotionally invested in our lives, helps us in our weakness and prays for us when we don’t have the words.

So great is God’s love for you that he sent his Spirit to dwell with you. So great is his desire for continued relationship with you that, in his grace, he has given you himself as a constant companion. Another important characteristic of the Spirit, however, is that he will not force relationship on you. He speaks when you listen, he gives you revelation as you open your mind to receive it, and he leads you as you ask for his guidance. The Spirit is full of incredible power but also incredible meekness and humility. He is both powerful and respectful. If you ask for a deeper friendship with the Holy Spirit, you will find he is the best friend you have ever known.

Take time as you enter into guided prayer to get to know the Holy Spirit like a friend. In his book The Pursuit of God A.W. Tozer writes, “Religion, so far as it is genuine, is in essence the response of created personalities to the creating personality, God.” The Holy Spirit has a personality. He has likes and dislikes. He feels, thinks, enjoys, likes, suffers, and desires. May your time in prayer be filled with new levels of friendship with the Spirit of God dwelling within you.
The Prayer
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his nearness to you. Take time to acknowledge his presence.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14

2. Give thanks to the Spirit for who he is. Thank him for his presence in your life. Thank him for his desire to speak to you, lead you, help you and pray for you.

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” Acts 13:2

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

3. Now ask the Spirit how he’s currently feeling. Ask him his perspective on anything in your life or the world around you. Listen and pay attention to any inclination you feel brought to mind. Journal what he says.
Friendship with the Spirit is like any other friendship in that it develops over time. Like a new friend, you must get to know his character and personality. Spend time just talking with him, listening to him and allowing him to work in your heart and life. He is an incredible gift given to you. He is your gateway to experiencing the things of God. Walk in relationship with him, follow his guidance, and make a new best friend in the Holy Spirit.
Extended Reading: Romans 8

Craig DenisonCRAIG DENISON is the author and founder of First15, a daily devotional guiding tens of thousands of believers into a fresh experience with God's presence every day. He writes, speaks, and he and his wife, Rachel lead worship to help believers establish a more tangible, meaningful connection with God.


This post first appeared on ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES, please read the originial post: here

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1-28-18 The First 15

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