There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:6-7)
The verses upon which we have reflected over the past several days have revealed many benefits that come into the life of a believer with the gift of the Holy Spirit. We have looked at power, love, self-discipline, community, peace, and a whole list of fruits. But, to what end are all these things given? Is drawing near to the Holy Spirit nothing more than a self help program? Not at all. The gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit are for the common good.
If you are wondering about the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, do not look so much at what it has done for you, but how the transformation of you has effected the common good. Does your joy bring joy to a community? Does your love lift the body of Christ? Does your power inspire, strengthen and support God’s family? Do your spiritual gifts build the body of Christ? Does your gentleness reveal the mercy of God? Does your kindness point to the cross?
Even then look at your community and ask if that community reveals God to the world. When Christ promised the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John and he prayed for believers he also prayed that they might be one. He wanted them to have that unity and joy so that others would come to believe. When all is said and done that is the true proof that what is moving in your life is the Holy Spirit. If God is honored, glorified and made more manifest to the world then the Holy Spirit is truly moving in power.
Holy Spirit, I have prayed that you take captive my words and my thoughts in prior prayers, but to what end did I pray these things? I pray this day that all that I say and do can bring Glory to God the Father and reveal the grace of his son Jesus Christ. I want you to saturate not only what I do, but how I do it. When I labor, may I not only labor for the Lord, but in a manner that is worthy of Him. May I bring joy, gratitude and humility to my action. May I bring kindness, gentleness and peace to my interactions. May I have the mind of Christ, who was willing to humble himself even to the point of death on a cross. Frankly, though I know that these are the proper words to prayer, there is part of me that fears such prayers. Do I really mean them? Or, am I just saying it because it is what is good and right? Help me Holy Spirit to have integrity between the words I am willing to pray and the action I am willing to take. I know that by your Spirit all things are possible and God’s strength can be revealed through my weakness. May it be so. Amen.