I’ve been blogging over the last few weeks about our family vacation in Northwest Michigan. There are many interesting and unique features about this trip as compared to all our other family vacations. First, as I mentioned previously was the fact that the cottage was gifted to us last year when we visited one of our retired missionaries in Michigan. Another feature that was unique was this was the first time in our family history that none of our cars were involved in the transportation of our family. We used my youngest daughter Ashley’s Honda Civic (2016) Touring car. The Touring is the model of Civic that has all the bells and whistles. Many of those bells and whistles come in the form of safety features. I had never driven a car with all the safety features that my daughter’s car has. One of the safety features is the blind spot coverage when making a right-turn or changing lanes to your right. On the dash, there is a screen that shows you what is in your blind spot. Also, every time that you changed lanes and failed to put your blinker on the steering wheel would shake, and the dash would light up with a “changing lanes” message. If you proceeded to change lanes without putting your blinker on another message would come across the dash that read, “steering required.” For me, the most interesting safety feature I found in the cruise control. I happen to be a big fan of cruise control, especially when I’m driving the amount of distance that we drove the first day (somewhere around 570 miles). When you set your cruise control, you also set the following proper distance that you want to follow. When you are driving along the cruise will then adjust itself to the speed of the traffic traveling around you. I was amazed at this feature. I found the driving experience to be almost entertaining as I watched the car adjust itself to the traffic flow all around me. It got me thinking about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is a good thing to think about when you’re on a long journey.
The Scripture has many things to say about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. I was thinking of the way the Holy Spirit guides us and directs us. The cruise control would also help me stay out of any situations where I might be tempted to go faster than I should. That is another ministry of the Holy Spirit who is committed to keeping us from sin. In referring to the Holy Spirit’s guiding us, the Lord Jesus Christ stated- “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”, (John 16:13 NIV). In this passage, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth. The cruise control set me at the right speed and traveling direction. The Holy Spirit desires to direct us in the way that is pleasing and acceptable to God. When we get off course, it is the Holy Spirit who is warning us that we are turning without our blinker. Unfortunately, we can quench and grieve the Holy Spirit guidance and lead in our lives. But God very much sends us warnings through His Holy Spirit. We must develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading and direction in our lives if we are going to be all that God would have us to be. Paul also commented on this in his letter to the Romans when he writes- “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if you live by the Spirit you will put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God,” (8:13,14).
In the above passage verse 14 particularly stresses the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are to be led by the Spirit which means that the Spirit would direct us to forsake all earthly idols and be open to whatever it is that God has for us. We are to be habitually led by the Holy Spirit in our behavior and manner of life. The Holy Spirit’s presence in the believer’s life is not something that we hear enough about these days. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and direct us. Just as there is safety found in the cruise features on my daughter’s Honda, there is safety found in yielding our lives to the prompting and directing of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God that can inspire our purposes and mold and shape our character. God will not drive us like cattle, but He will lead us through bands of love by the Holy Spirit. We will not see our way free from sin unless the Holy Spirit directs and guides us into a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is to conform us into being sons of God. That speaks of being in a place of privilege and right. Remember that God never disowns His children. The Holy Spirit is God’s special and presence in the life of His children to keep us on task. My prayer even as I was driving to Michigan with all the safety features is that I would allow God’s Holy Spirit to direct and guide my life in even the small matters and what naturally seems unimportant. Won’t you join with me in seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance for our daily lives together? Maybe we can avoid some serious accident by making sure that we’re using our turn signals and yielding our lives to the Holy Spirit.
Shalom, Pastor Rich Sivo