I was considering entitling this note “How to rely on the Spirit” – but I just can’t bring myself to suggest that I have the answer or know the way that everyone should rely on Him. I just know what has been effective in my own life and what has enlarged my joy and confidence. I know how I rely on Him, and how I intend to do so more. So, here’s how…
My use of the word “rely” comes from the NLT’s wording in 1 Cor. 2:4 where Paul writes, “…I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.” I like the use of “rely” here because its definition expresses precisely what I think is Paul’s position. It means 1.) depend on with full trust or confidence 2.) be dependent on. Paul relied on the Spirit. Paul enjoins the same sentiment for his audience that he does for himself in Galatians 5:25, “since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”. In Corinthians Paul speaks of spirit-enabled ministry, in Galatians he speaks of spirit-enabled ethics. Both testimonies invite us, urge us, to look to and lean upon the Holy Spirit for every aspect of Christian living.
For me, relying on the Spirit means that I trust Him deeply, so much so that my trust expresses itself in my attitudes and actions. I rely on Him. The more deeply I trust Him, the more readily I rely on Him. What do I specifically mean by “trust”? What do I trust Him to be and do? What do I trust about Him?
I trust that He is fully present:
I believe that the Holy Spirit is here, now, fully-in-this-moment. I do not believe that I need to rub a lamp or conjure Him up. I do not believe that He is aloof or elusive. Jesus promised that because He was going to the Father, that we could live in the immediate presence of the Holy Spirit, and that He would be present in our lives in every Helpful way (John 14-16). In Acts, Luke describes the Spirit in a believer’s life as “full” or “filled.” He gives no hint of partial presence. I trust that He is fully present, in this moment, in me and with me. I thank Him, honor Him, welcome Him, adore Him and yield to His fullness.
I trust that He is working:
I believe that His presence is active, not passive. He is not with me as an observer, but a Helper. He is not a silent partner; He is the Senior Partner. He is powerful; He is totally sufficient. He is present to influence, to form, to encourage, to strengthen, to enable. I completely depend on Him. Just as certain as I am that He is present, regardless of what I feel or do not feel, I believe—I trust—that He is working.
I trust that his work is working.
I believe that His work in and through me is effectual. I anticipate results. I believe He is producing fruit in me (Gal. 5:22). I believe He is supplying the grace and power for any need and opportunity (Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 12:7). I am confident that He is applying in my life all that Jesus accomplished on the Cross. He is working, and I believe His work is working.
I rely on the Holy Spirit by trusting Him. In witness and worship, in service and ethics, I believe He is present, powerful, and producing.