In January of 2018, my husband and I took a six-month business trip to the southern coast of England.  We are grateful for a wonderful adventure, even though it held its challenges.  Before we left, I asked the Lord to bring greater purpose to this experience other than business and tourism.  He was faithful in doing so and my greater purpose list continues to grow.

Early upon our arrival, our search quickly led us to a warm and welcoming church. They are described as similar to a Baptist church with a focus on the renewal of the Holy Spirit. They worshipped freely, they prayed freely, and they had a refreshing dependence upon Him, both corporately and in their daily lives. This is where my renewal of the Holy Spirit began.

Our British pastor encouraged us to read “The Forgotten God,” by Francis Chan. I came to realize that all too often I had forgotten part of my God and I began to learn and be reminded of the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. I began to more faithfully acknowledge Him and His presence throughout my day. Not as the forgotten God, but as an equal part of the Triune God. That means walking with Him in the next ten minutes and not merely on my preferred schedule.  How will I serve and bless others in the next ten minutes?  How will I respond to my husband and children in the next ten minutes?  Will I follow the Spirits lead to speak boldly or apologize where needed in the next ten minutes?

The first verse that jumped out at me in a completely new way was John 16:7.  “…it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you..”  I imagine that the Apostles were dumbfounded or gobsmacked, as the Brits would say!  Really? It was better that He went away?  What could possibly be better than having the sinless and resurrected Son of God standing in their presence with skin on?

It is more than I can comprehend to realize that God Himself chose me, with all my faults, to be a worthy vessel for God Himself to reside. The Creator who holds together the awesome expanse of the heavens by the word of His mouth, has taken up residence within me.  How can that be?  I have nothing to offer the Spirit of God that could possibly make my vessel an enticing or comfortable place for Him to live.  Yet, it is just so simple.  It is grace.  By the work of the cross, I have the source of power over sin.  I am offered strength through trials, healing comfort, and an ever-present guide to lead me.  Those are amazing blessings, but the means to the end is that God be glorified.  Pondering all this could blow the circuit breaker, but it should only lead me to a grateful and humble heart.

Soon after our return home, I was excited to learn about Carlon’s next series, “People in Step with the Spirit.”  The renewal continues and so does the stirring within.  Carlon’s teaching has not only been timely, it has also been a great foundation for me.  I have realized how often I checked the box of spiritual obligation in the morning, rather than walk in step with the Spirit.  I am challenged to continue to learn and tap into the role of the Holy Spirit in my daily life.  I am challenged to walk in step with the Spirit…in the next ten minutes.  And then, the ten minutes after that!