As we navigate decisions in life, we so often bump up against our own limitations and weaknesses. The good news for us? When we follow Jesus, he gives us his Holy Spirit who is unlimited in power and ability. God works as he wants to in our lives, not necessarily as we want him to, but his plans, though different from ours, are always better.
1. Pray, and be bold.
- The baptism of the Holy Spirit, or the filling of the Holy Spirit is not a one-time thing. The apostles were filled many times throughout the book of Acts. God stirs his Spirit within us when he wants to do something in and through us.
- A lot of times, we are not that bold spiritually, but all of us are called to live our lives boldly in the name of Jesus.
- If we have prayed for God’s will to be done and his Spirit to empower us, we can walk boldly in this life. God himself can make us bold witnesses for Jesus when we wouldn’t be able to do that on our own.
What is one thing you’ve been too afraid to pursue, that you need to now commit to prayer? What would it look like to step out boldly, trusting God to direct you?
2. The Spirit is for all who believe.
- We are so far removed from the cultural context of the gospels and book of Acts, that it isn’t remarkable to us that God gave his Spirit to both Jews and Gentiles. When Jesus commanded Peter to carry the Gospel to a group of Gentiles, that was absolutely boundary-breaking!
- The encouragement this provides for us today is that we can know the Spirit is for all who believe –– we do nothing to qualify to receive his Spirit, but he gives himself to us anyway when we put our faith in him.
If all believers have the same Spirit, how does that change how you approach your relationships and how you see people? How does that change how you approach disagreements with other Christians?
3. Let the Spirit speak.
- God is always speaking to us, but we need to put ourselves in a position to hear from him. Like Samuel, we need to first listen, and then be a servant, ready to do God’s will.
- Every single thing in our lives that ends up being beautiful are steps of faith the Lord asked from us at one point. Even if we don’t like what is happening at the time, when we step out in obedience to what God is saying, the results turn out so much more beautifully than we expected.
- God’s direction over our lives is not an option. But whatever God invites us into is his best will for us.
Describe a time God spoke to you clearly, and even if you didn’t like it at first, you obeyed. What were the results of that step of obedience? Who would you be today if you had disobeyed? Who are you now because of obedience?
4. Take the next step.
- We can’t know everything the future holds, and we can’t change the future any more than we can change our pasts. But God has a beautiful life in store for us right here and now, and the faithful response is just to take the next step.
- In fact, there’s no such thing as not taking the next step. If you’re still alive, there is still a step to take. God is always calling us more deeply into relationship with him and into the work he has for us. He always has more for us.
- If we continue to take next steps day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out, we will end up right where God wants us to be.
What is one “next step” God is asking you to take?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?