Sunday, 30 May 2021
Title: Plug into the Spirit
By Dorothy Teoh
John 14:6-17; 25-2616
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 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… 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (NIV)
Recently, I received my first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. While doing my devotion several days later, I read a reference to God’s life-giving presence in my life. It made me think of the vaccine’s presence in me, and how it was teaching my body to make the antibodies to protect me against Covid-19.
When we believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, God gives us His Holy Spirit, just as Jesus promised His disciples. It is not through a physical process like a vaccination, but we know He resides in us. And He is the life-giving presence who teaches, comforts and guides us, and intercedes for us. In Romans 8:26, Paul says: “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.” (ESV)
The Holy Spirit enables us to resist sin and temptation, just like the way the vaccine helps us to be more resistant to Covid-19. He works to make us more like Jesus and bring glory to Him. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts unbelievers of sin and enables them to see and accept the truth of the Gospel, not our eloquence in sharing or preaching or even writing.
Both the Old and New Testament have many references to the Holy Spirit. Among the more familiar ones are the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). However, while looking up some of the references about the Holy Spirit for this devotion, I realised how little I know about Him, and how often I take for granted His presence in me.
Before deciding to opt in for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, I read up about the risk of blood clots. I asked my home group to pray for protection from the side effects and monitored myself carefully in the days after the jab, including taking my temperature. I made sure I drank enough water and rested. I took the proper precautions of masking and sanitising at the vaccination centre and refused to go to the toilet even when I needed it, until I got home! If only I were as careful about the Holy Spirit in me so that I do not grieve, quench or resist Him in any way, and were more aware of His power. Max Lucado tells an amusing story on his website about a Welsh woman who lived in a remote place. She felt that it was not worth the cost and trouble to have electricity installed in her home but finally, she did it.
“Several weeks after the installation, the power company noticed she had barely used any electricity. A meter reader went to see her. ‘Is there a problem?’ he asked. ‘Oh no,’ she responded. ‘We’re quite satisfied. Every night we turn on the electric lights to see how to light our lamps.’ ’’You may laugh, but how many of us make the same mistake as this Welsh woman?
Max Lucado says: “We’re prone to do likewise: depend on God’s Spirit to save us but not sustain us. We turn to him to get us started and then continue in our own strength. Scripture urges us to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25). He directs and leads; we obey and follow. Plug into his power and leave the switch turned on.”
Ephesians 1:13-14 tell us that the Holy Spirit is the guarantee, down-payment or, as The Message translates it, “first instalment” of our heavenly inheritance. Until we claim the “final instalment”, are we plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit and keeping the switch turned on?
Dear God and heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit with whom we were sealed for the day of redemption. Thank You for this power source in us; forgive us that often, we do not draw on it and sometimes, even forget about it. Help us not just to plug into His power but to keep the switch on and not to rely on our own resources or strength. To the praise of Your glory. Amen.
16 我要求父，父就另外赐给你们一位保惠师，叫他永远与你们同在， 17 就是真理的圣灵，乃世人不能接受的，因为不见他，也不认识他。你们却认识他，因他常与你们同在，也要在你们里面。
25 我还与你们同住的时候，已将这些话对你们说了。 26 但保惠师，就是父因我的名所要差来的圣灵，他要将一切的事指教你们，并且要叫你们想起我对你们所说的一切话。
马克斯·卢卡多（Max Lucado）在他的网站上讲了一个有趣的故事。一个住在偏远地区的威尔士（Welsh）女子，她觉得在家里安装电力是不值得的，也很麻烦，但最后，她还是安装了电表。安装几周后，电力公司注意到她几乎没有用过电。抄表员去看她， “有问题吗？”
马克斯·卢卡多（Max Lucado）说：“我们倾向于这样做：依靠上帝的灵来拯救我们，但不能维持。我们求祂帮助我们开始，然后以自己的力量继续前进。圣经敦促我们“与圣灵并驾齐驱，靠圣灵行事 ”（加拉太书5：25）。祂指导和领导；我们服从并遵循。插入电源并继续被点燃。”