Sunday, February 12, 2017
Why we Need to Trust the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 12 (NIV): Trust the Holy Spirit
7 [W]e declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it . . . .12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
We all experience the occasional spiritual dry spell, moments when we feel like God is absent. Periods of spiritual aridity can be tough to endure but are necessary trials of our faith. Our struggles are more often the fallout of worldly thinking, leaning too much on our pride and society’s empty promises. During one of my own spiritual struggles, someone reminded me to “trust the Holy Spirit.” His simple words forced me to “snap out of it,” to see the Spirit of Christ at work in and around me, and to be strengthened against the malaise of the world.
Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth, expresses the same idea. He reminds them that the Gospel message is of “God’s wisdom” (7), not the popular wisdom espoused by “the rulers of this age” (8). In first-century Corinth, many egocentric Greeks could not see beyond the mirage of worldly wisdom. And Paul clearly knew this. In the letter, Paul reminds his readers, for instance, that “[w]hat we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us” (12).
In “Two Ways of Seeing a River,” Mark Twain speaks of a similar spiritual duality:
Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river!
The world robbed Twain of a majestic vision and instead replaced it with an empty, utilitarian one. In his “master[ing] the language of this water,” he lost touch with its mystery, beauty, and grace. Like many of the Corinthians, Twain became snared by the spirit of the world. Paul reminds us to avoid this trap and to trust the Holy Spirit.
There are two ways to navigate our struggles -- the way of the world and the way of the God. When we choose to trust the Holy Spirit, we find Christ’s peace. And I pray that we all find, follow, and trust in the way of God, especially in our moments of trial.
Let us pray:
Almighty and most merciful God, grant that by the indwelling
of your Holy Spirit we may be enlightened and strengthened
for your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now
and for ever. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer 1979)
Have a blessed week!Stan