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.)