When the Holy Spirit Goes to Bat for You

batting

I remember my brother teaching me how to catch a football with my head, a sinker (he was teaching me about casting a line) with my belly, and a softball with my legs. What fun!  Those things were pretty tough to learn because I was trying to learn in the middle of doing when I didn’t have a clue from someone who already knew, someone who wasn’t too worried about my bumps and bruises because those things made me “tough.” (His thinking, not mine!)

But there was something else he taught me to do that was a lot less painful: batting. I remember standing at our imaginary home plate while he stood behind me, helping me to choke up on the bat and showing me where my feet needed to go.  He held the bat with me and showed me how to swing level, not choppy, and at a slight upward angle to get the ball to soar.

This “coming up from behind and showing” is what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. Only it’s even better because He’s coming up from within and guiding us, not just our hands choked up on a bat, but every step we take in our lives and every decision we make.  That is if we let Him.

Of course, we have a choice in the matter. We can treat Him as if he’s the neighbor’s dog we haven’t seen yet but have heard of, hoping he doesn’t wander over and come up on our porch.  Perhaps we don’t want to be bothered with getting out of our chair to greet him if he shows up because we were comfortable.  We don’t need anyone making us uncomfortable, that’s for sure.

Or we can see Him for Who He really is:  the third Person of the Holy Trinity, our Counselor, Intercessor, and Comforter. He is God here and now.  Any thought of ignoring Him or not wanting Him in our lives is like an unfinished painting telling the painter, “You may stop now.  I don’t need you.”

But we do need the Holy Spirit. We need His guidance and direction every day.  And oh how the Holy Spirit wants to help you and me with all of that.

He wants to come up from within to remind you how lovely and precious you are in His sight. He wants you to have moments of peace, unwinding after a long day and looking back and spotting just where He reached in and said, “I’m here.  You don’t have to do this alone.”  He wants to comfort you when you’re hurt, when you feel like everything has fallen apart around you and you don’t know how to go on.  He wants to put His hand on your shoulder and give you a talking to when you’re going down the wrong path; not shaking his finger at you like you’re an irresponsible child but protecting you because you matter greatly to Him and the Kingdom.

That’s right. You matter to God and His Kingdom.  And God is not going to toss a ball into your life and hope you figure out how to hit it.  He’s given you the gift of His Holy Spirit to live within you, guiding and using you to swing that bat like you never thought possible.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”  (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV.)

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:16 NIV.)

Remember

remember-3

I haven’t filled the bird feeders or given any corn to the deer in a long time and promised myself once November arrived, I’d start doing it again. So I threw on my old coat yesterday morning and loaded up the cup to fill both feeders, tapping it to make sure the birdseed slid out. That tapping is the same, hollow sound that’s been echoing across our property for years, one that announces, “It’s breakfast time” to all the critters.

I poured some fresh water into the birdbath and since I don’t have any corn yet, I dumped a little birdseed into the dish for the deer.  And that’s when I saw her standing in the front yard, watching and waiting:  a deer that knew the routine.

She remembered the tapping sound of my cup, the mound of corn or birdseed she’d find in the dish, and the gravely sound as I dumped it in.  I’m pretty sure she even remembered the crazy woman who waves at her because she stood and watched me as I did it again.

But more importantly, she remembered the provision.

Do you remember God’s provision? Do you remember all the times He provided a way out when you made a bad decision?  Do you remember when He provided a break when you were so desperate for one?  Do you remember how He sent someone, even a stranger, who smiled when you were feeling like no one cared about you?

Can you look back and see all He has done, all He has brought you through? Or have you forgotten?  Are you looking down at your feet right now wondering how in the world you got here, and why did God abandon you?

Take a lesson from the deer and remember.  Remember where your provision comes from and all God has done for you.  If it’s hard to remember, ask Him to bring it back to your memory, to sharpen your focus, so you can take a good look at it and understand all good things really do come from Him.  Don’t get stuck looking down.  Take a moment to remember and look back to see God’s mighty hand rescuing, providing, protecting, and guiding you.

And trust that He will provide again.

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.  Your ways, O God, are holy.  What god is so great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”  (Psalm 77:11-14 NIV.)