Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I need a little help from above

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Acts 8, 9, 10

Acts 8:18-25 (NIV)

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the Gift of God with money.” 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” 25 When they had testified and proclaimed the Word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel in many Samaritan villages.

James 5:16 (NIV)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Good morning!

It’s hard to be humble when you are spewing inside. Yesterday was a long day. I spent a good part of my work day sitting in a training session. When I arrived back to my office late in the day, I had eight hours of work waiting for me and only a couple of hours with which to accomplish it. I was pulled to help someone else complete another assignment, and I was not at all happy about it. Support staff had left for the day. There was no one else available to help out. I could feel the steam rising up in my spirit. I really wanted to have a servant’s heart, but my attitude was getting in the way. There are moments when my heart is simply not right with God, and I find myself in desperate need of the Holy Spirit power to see me through.

There is amazing joy in His Holy Spirit power! It’s the kind of power that tames the tongue, silences inappropriate thoughts floating around inside one’s head, and fills a heart full to overflowing with compassion and love for others. Holy Spirit power cannot be purchased with money. You cannot have the Holy Spirit power in your life until God gives it to you. When we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, we must choose whether to employ the gift He gives, especially when we are harboring anger and resentment in our hearts. It is not enough to say we care. His truth will reveal itself in love.

Simon was a desperate man. He practiced sorcery by working wonders and relying on astrology to guide his life. People were impressed with the magic of this man, and marveled at his counterfeit gifts. Only the Holy Spirit power could reveal the bitterness in Simon’s heart. He was held captive by the sins controlling his life. The Apostle Peter recognized the problem, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He confronted Simon with the truth. Sometimes, the truth hurts. No matter how we spin it, when God reveals our true character and we see ourselves for who we really are, there is nothing we can do except fall on our knees, repent, and seek God’s grace and forgiveness. We pray for each other and our “unhappy” attitudes. This is exactly what Simon did. He asked Peter and John to pray for him, that he would be spared the pain of not knowing the Lord.

Every morning, I seek the help of His Holy Spirit to transform my heart, removing “my” will and “my way” and replacing it with “His will” and “His way.” I cannot buy this kind of power with money. I cannot barter with the Lord for Holy Spirit power. There is only one way to receive this gift of grace, and it comes in sincere repentance through prayer. I must be willing to admit my faults to the Lord, not just in corporate prayer during Sunday worship, but in daily, holy conversation with the Lord. I need to confess my sin and ask God for His forgiveness and grace. As I pray for others, He sends His sweet Holy Spirit to cover and comfort me, again and again. The Spirit convicts my heart when I am wrong. Last night, my attitude was all wrong. That restless, uncomfortable feeling that stayed in the pit of my stomach was prayed away this morning by Holy Spirit power. I can begin a brand new day, knowing I don’t have to face the world all by myself.

Do you long for your prayers to be powerful and effective? Our hearts must first be healed. There is only One who can wash away our sin and heal us with His amazing love. If you look in the mirror this morning and find you resemble Simon the sorcerer, there is hope for you! It is time to pray – repent and seek God’s forgiveness and grace. If you ask Him, He will give you the Holy Ghost power and in that power, you will overcome.

Are you ready to receive an attitude adjustment?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: the truth to set you free! It’s time to have a holy conversation with the Lord. Repent. Ask God to forgive and heal you right now. Ask Him for His Holy Spirit power. I believe an attitude adjustment is on the way!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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