Day 12: The Holy Spirit
As a follower of Christ we have been given an irreplaceable and inconceivable gift… the gift of The Holy Spirit. His power in our lives is unmatched, His grandeur unequal, His mysteries never-ending. He is an equal part of the trinity, offering infinite wisdom, guidance and understanding. The presence of The Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to our freedom.
Many in the church have wondered who The Holy Spirit is, what role He plays, and (sadly) whether He even exists at all:
- 38% of Christians strongly agreed that the Holy Spirit is just "a symbol of God's power or presence but is not living." 
- 49% of those who agree He is a symbol believe that the bible is completely accurate in what it teaches 
How is this confusion possible within the body of Christ? In his book Forgotten God, Francis Chain discusses our neglect of The Holy Spirit and illustrates where it has led the church. In our neglect of Him, we have created a kingdom of our own, apart from God, where our satisfaction is all that matters. Chan summarizes this well in a quote from his book:
In our pride we have forgotten how vital The Spirit is in our lives. What's worse, many have ceased to believe in Him at all. Scripture, however, tells a different story about the reality of God's Spirit:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. -Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)
Our enemy is powerful - far more powerful than us. He goes about the earth eagerly searching for souls that he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). The Holy Spirit is our shield, our light, and our protector. He can offer us wisdom through prayer, strength through worship and knowledge through His word. Far too many Christians have forgotten The Holy Spirit altogether, forgetting that Christ held Him in the highest regard:
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” -John 15:26 (ESV)
We desperately need this protection in our fight against sexual sin. A soldier goes into battle armed and ready, poised to strike his enemy with weapons suited for war. Without The Holy Spirit, we are entering into the fight unprotected, outmatched, and outwitted. In reality, we are children facing a lion. How can a child ever take down a lion? On his own...never. But with God, we face this enemy with full confidence.
There are a lot of voices in our heads, especially in the chaos of today's society. Learning to recognize God’s voice takes patience, discipline and hard work. It means developing a habit of daily prayer and devotion. It means taking steps of faith when necessary, fully trusting in Him to be your shelter and provider. The Holy Spirit is an equal party of the trinity of God. He has power, wisdom and knowledge to aid us in our struggle against sin. When only a few men and women were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts, they changed the world. That same power is available to us today and through it we can change our world. You can change your world. It is His perfect will that you be free from this sin, He alone gives you the power to overcome the evil one. This starts with the small lessons in our lives. Lessons that often start with conviction from our past sins. Joyce Meyer puts it like this:
He comes to live in our hearts when we're born again, and then He teaches and guides us according to God's plan and purpose for us. One of the ways He does this is by convicting us of the sins in our life. Much like a child does, as Christians, we learn what's right and wrong as we grow in our faith. We may get by with things that are not right for awhile, but the time comes when we need to grow. I remember when I would go to church every Sunday and then spend most of the afternoon gossiping about the pastor or whatever I didn't like about the service.
Often we see conviction as a bad thing, perhaps even confusing it with guilt. The Holy Spirit uses conviction to teach us and steer us back on course. Can you imagine if you felt little to no remorse for sinning all the time? Would you or I ever change? Or would we continue to delve in our sin until it completely consumed us? The longer we resist His calling in our lives, the longer we ignore the soft whispers of The Holy Spirit, the closer we get to shutting Him out completely.
LETTING HIM IN
To begin allowing The Holy Spirit to permeate your life, start with the following:
- Address Him specifically in prayer
The Holy Spirit is an equal part of the trinity. In fact, many of us interact with Him much more than we think. He dwells within us when we put our faith in Christ, guiding us in the ways that we should go. Additionally, He translates our prayers to God when we don't have the right words. This means He understands our hearts and knows what we are truly feeling. Try specifically praying to Him at times.
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. -Romans 8:26 (ESV)
- Allow yourself to be led
That still, small voice in your head, the one that shows us the right way even when we're not willing to take it? That's The Holy Spirit, guiding us and teaching us. To be led by the spirit, we must lay down our pride and recognize that we're not able to do this on our own. In moments of weakness, find that small voice and obey.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. -Romans 8:14 (NIV)
- Recognize His voice
If you're confused by what to do, then there are too many voices in your head. By this we mean things like media, music, worldliness, and the enemy. All of these things can drown out The Holy Spirit, clouding our understanding of what He is trying to tell us. Begin to eliminate those voices by cutting out the things in your life that are causing confusion.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. -Galatians 5:16 (ESV)
- The Holy Spirit is real and can be known (Acts 2:1-5)
- He protects us against the temptations that come from our enemy (1 John 4:4, Galatians 5:16)
- He makes us sons of God, teaching us how we ought to pray in our weakness (Romans 8:14, Romans 8:26)
Day 12 Application
What is the role of The Holy Spirit in your life?
What are some ways, specific to you, that you can allow Him to dwell in your life?
Have you been in contact with your accountability partner such that you were asked tough questions about purity? What can you do to grow your intimacy with God?
Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?