“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (Corinthian 2:16).
The Altamont Wind Farm is about a fifteen-minute drive from my home. Interstate 580 divides the Diablo Range with miles of wind turbines lining green hills soaked with the life of spring. The massive white vanes turn in slow motion, as if breathing in the fresh air of freedom. Cows look like black ants underneath their enormity, grazing along the foothills. Puffy clouds pillowed against the bright turquoise sky invite my mind to rest.
I want the spirit of the Lord to move me, slowly churning life, energy, and peace. This is the freedom of surrender.
It seems the more I yield my spirit to God’s, the more constant the vanes churn through my stubborn will. My pride. My fears. The stagnant anxiety that filters my perception of God with a dark haze.
Like fanning a flame, surrender and obedience fuels my faith as I experience the Holy Spirit’s power that helps me to change.
All of life’s challenges are moving me through the very purpose I was created for—to be refined. Instead of resisting, I feel an invitation to rest and surrender. Not the giving-up kind of surrender, but the enduring kind that produces perseverance and forbearance.
The new testament teaches that we can grieve and suppress the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Acts 7:51 Stephen rebuked the Jewish leaders for resisting the Holy Spirit. When we resist the Holy Spirit and disobey God, we remove much of God’s blessing from our lives (1 Corinthians 14:32).
Most of my life I thought the blessing meant restored relationships, healing, and a life shielded from pain. And when my faithfulness wasn’t rewarded the way I thought it should be, I let bitterness block me. But I see now that the blessing is in the sweetness of knowing the God who meets me in the middle of the searching, the longing, the hoping, the pain and the tears.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to help us and yield our Spirit to his, we’ll experience close fellowship with God (Philippians 2:1, 2 Corinthians 3:14).
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives will be so abundant, it will flow like rivers of living water (John 7: 39-40).
When you allow the Holy Spirit to empower you, I believe God magnifies his presence by blessing you with the conscious awareness of the Holy Spirit’s work and guidance in your life. I’m not saying we will always feel God or should always expect to, but what I’m saying is that I have felt the Lord’s presence stronger than ever when I’ve taken scary steps to walk in God’s purpose for me. When I avoid his promptings or ignore them, I miss out on the experience of seeing how God will lead me or use my weakness to show his power.
God wants to move his power through your life.
The Holy Spirit magnifies his presence by making himself known to you. God may give you spiritual encouragement, confirmation, or comfort through his word, a friend, a note, a song, a book, or a word of affirmation.
Just this last week, God reminded me of his presence with a rainbow.
As I release fear and doubt and walk with confidence into the purpose God created me for, I’ve seen the power of the Holy Spirit magnified. I feel spiritually stronger. His peace begins to soothe my anxiety—slow and steady like the turning of the windmill.
God tells us he will be faithful to complete the work he started in us (Philippians 1:6 NIV). As long as you are on this earth, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit gives you the strength you need to learn, grow, change, and minister.
When our lives shine the glory of God, we will be blessed with the presence of God resting upon us. His breath moves us forward. We are blessed, not necessarily because our circumstances get better, but because the presence of God gives us rest in the middle of them.
“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14).
Many of us feel anxious about the uncertainty of COVID-19 affecting our entire country. It’s comforting to know the Holy Spirit rests upon us, calms us when we are afraid, and moves us forward to help others in need.