And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”  John 14:16-17

Living in this world can be difficult. The stressors of life and the unexpected turn of events can be hard to handle at times. And if we’re being honest, it sometimes feels as if no one cares for us or has our back. Those friends and family members we relied upon so heavily are suddenly gone when things turn sour. And if we do have family or friends we can rely on, that won’t always be the case. So where should we turn to first?

Fortunately, as disciples of Christ, we have someone to run to all the time. No matter what the circumstances may be, we have access to God through the Holy Spirit. And God has promised to be with us by sending the Holy Spirit to live within us at all times — the good and the bad. We are never abandoned by God. Though outward circumstances might give us that impression, God has designed it so that we don’t have to fall for that lie.

When we seek out the Lord through prayer, the Holy Spirit intervenes on our behalf. He intercedes for us even when we don’t know what to say.

God is a better source of comfort to turn to than any friends or family members. He will never let us down, and that is seen through the promise to give us with the Holy Spirit while we are here on earth apart from him. And isn’t it wonderful knowing that we are never, nor will we ever be, alone?

Dear Lord, please help me to turn to you first in all circumstances. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit so that we are not alone. Amen.

“It is the same and only Holy Spirit who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding which each of us should have” 1 Corinthians 12:11

As I counsel in the area of Christian service, I find much confusion among many Christians regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Believers often are so involved in trying to discover or receive additional spiritual gifts that they are not developing and using their known gifts and abilities to do God’s will.

For this reason, I caution against going to great lengths to discover one’s spiritual gifts. Rather than emphasize gifts, I encourage a person to surrender fully to the lordship of Jesus Christ and appropriate by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Then, by faith and hard work, while depending on the Holy Spirit, a person can set out with determination to accomplish that to which God has called him.

Paul wrote about this important principle in his letter to the Philippians:

Dearest friends, when I was there with you, you were always so careful to follow my instructions. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease Him….

“For I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 2:12; 4-13).

This, of course, can be done only if a Christian totally submits himself to the lordship of Jesus Christ and the control of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-10

Today’s Thought: I’ll be more concerned about being yielded to the moment-by-moment direction and control of God’s Holy Spirit than about discovering my spiritual gift(s).