For most of my life, I had neglected the role of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity. I prayed to Jesus, I prayed to God the Father, but somehow, I did not pay much attention to the Holy Spirit! It was only through Office of Young People’s School of Witness (SOW) 2017 that I came to realise the importance of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that I am given a new birth in Christ and it is also the Holy Spirit who helps me to remain steadfast in the Lord whenever I start to stray away from Him. The Holy Spirit is truly our Helper in all things…but first; we need to allow Him to help us!
1. Repent from our Sins
In Acts 2:38, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Indeed, we need to repent from our sins so that we can receive the Holy Spirit! None of us is without sin. However, we must not focus so much on what we have done wrong that we plunge into deep guilt and wallow in self-pity; instead, we should really be repentant! This means to acknowledge our wrongdoings, ask God’s forgiveness and be determined to not commit them again. I definitely do not find this easy, especially when the enemy tempts me. But I believe in the Holy Spirit and that the power of the Holy Spirit will help to release me from the chains of my sins.
2. To Trust in the Spirit
Initially, I had a lot of doubts regarding the Holy Spirit; I would wonder if the Holy Spirit was real and I would ask God why other people could see images or prophesy but yet I could not see, hear or feel anything.
Then one morning after praise and worship, we were asked to pair up with another SOW participant that we did not know well and to pray for each other. As we prayed, my prayer partner shared that he saw an image of books and that I was trapped in it. He sensed that I was burdened by my studies and said that the Lord wanted to tell me that he loved me for who I am! At that moment, I was in awe of what he said because it spoke directly to me and I burst in tears. I thought, “How could he have known that I was very weighed down by my studies, when I haven’t even talked to him before?” That was when I realised it had to be the Holy Spirit and that was the moment that I decided to open the eyes of my heart to the Holy Spirit and to really trust in the Holy Spirit and lean not on my own understanding!
3. Let Go of Fear
At first, I had a lot of fear about this ‘newly introduced’ Holy Spirit as I did not know what to expect of Him. I remember going for an outreach to SMU, feeling very afraid because I knew I had to pray for people who were older than me and I was worried that I would not be able to relate to them and their struggles.
When it was time for prayer ministry, I actually considered not praying for anyone but God had other plans for me and sent someone to me for prayer. As I was sitting before her, I was thinking to myself, “Oh no, how am I going to pray for her?”
But since I couldn’t run any further, I reminded myself that “the Holy Spirit is my helper” and decided to let go of fear and trust God to use me as a messenger. As I did that and began to pray, words started to come out of my mouth. I was still a little scared that I was not saying anything relevant to her. But after I finished praying for her, I realised that she was full of tears and she said to me, “Whatever you just said is everything I am going through right now. This is the first time that prayer ministry spoke to me so much!”
It was this experience that further convicted me that the Holy Spirit is very much real. The words I said were words that I would never thought I would say! It was all possible only because the Holy Spirit was guiding me and helping me as I dared to let go of my fear and let Him lead and use me.
4. Have an Open Heart and Mind
Everyday of our lives, we need to have an open heart and mind to the Holy Spirit for the Holy Spirit is continually moving in gentle and surprising ways in our lives! I can see how even after SOW, the Holy Spirit continues to be ever present in my life.
After I left SOW, it was tough to keep my focus on the Lord and to not be distracted by the world. It was really hard to not fall back into my old lifestyle and old habits, but it was the Holy Spirit that constantly guided me into all truth and led my eyes towards the Heavenly Father.
I remember one day feeling particularly distant and far away from the Lord as I was just so distracted by the things that I had to do. Then the Holy Spirit put a song into my head and used the lyrics “O wanderer come home, you’re not too far” to remind my heart that I was never too far to turn back to the Lord.
I also remember another morning when I was feeling ashamed and undeserving of God’s love because I had sinned against Him. But the Holy Spirit was with me and convicted me with these words, “Even if you sin, I will still hold on to my end of the rope! Will you hold on to yours?” The Holy Spirit really testifies to the truth that the Lord Jesus loves us no matter what and that we are definitely worthy of his love! It was through the Holy Spirit that I was reminded of God’s great power and love and able to remain steadfast in the Lord!
Lastly, we need to desire to live a life in the Holy Spirit! Our heavenly Father will never deny us anything good!
In Luke 11:9-13, Jesus said, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
So let us all ask God to send His Holy Spirit unto us! When I asked God and sincerely desired to live a life in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit filled my heart with the love of God and the emptiness I once felt is now gone! He has given me a new birth in Christ. Praise be to God my heavenly Father!
Do you desire a new life in the Holy Spirit too? This gift of new life is for you! Ask for the Holy Spirit and open your heart and your mind to Him. Let us all desire to live a life in the Holy Spirit every single day of our lives!
Written by Chloe Woo. This articles was first published in the Office of Young People’s website.