Aloha Friday Message – July 18, 2014 – A Spirited Friendship

1429AFC071814 – A Spirited Friendship

Read it online here, please.

Today I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, a very dear and special friend with whom I share my thoughts, my hopes, my fears, my aspirations, and even my soul. My friend’s advice is always spot-on. Whenever I follow that advice, everything – every single thing – turns out better than I expected. When I don’t follow that excellent advice, my friend is patient and understanding and floods me with gentle reminders about “doing the right thing.” I love this friend so much because we are talking back and forth all day long – even sometimes through the night. No matter where I go, no matter what I am doing, whatever is in my heart is known by my friend. He is especially comforting when I am praying because he knows just exactly what to say. When I am in trouble, my friend is always there to speak on my behalf, to defend me, and to comfort me when I am afraid. I guess you could say we’ve been friends since the moment I was born, but actually our real friendship solidified somewhere during the early- to mid-nineties. Many of you have also met my friend, talked with him, walked with him, called out his name. Take a look at what our mutual friend, Saint Paul said about him in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 8:26-27The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.

You had probably already guessed that my friend is the Holy Spirit, or perhaps Jesus, or more generally God. But I am seriously asking you now to get to know the Holy Spirit with the same kind of personal relationship you have with Jesus and God the Father. Yes, a personal, living, loving, day-to-day relationship wherein you can talk to each other like two friends sitting on a park bench on a sunny day.

These days we understand that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, the bond between the Father and the Son, the Comforter, the Advocate, the Paraclete given to us by the Son after his ascension into Heaven. We also know that the Trinity was and is always Father, Son, and Spirit. In the very beginning of the scripture we read about the Ruach Elohim, the Spirit of God, hovering over the surface of the waters in the Creation (See Genesis 1:1-2 ). Elohim: God the Creator, Mighty and Strong. Ruach: Breath, Spirit, Wind, Mind. The idea of the Spirit of God is found hundreds of times throughout the Bible. The terms used vary. When God is speaking, he says my Spirit,  as in Joel 2:28 – And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: There are prophesies of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. In David’s great penitential Psalm, Psalm 51, David says – Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Psalm 51:11

The Spirit of the Living God has always been part of the equation of creation. God started with nothing and made everything. The Spirit of God is the creative power of God, “The LORD, the Giver of Life.” When we speak to and with the Spirit, we are speaking to and with the One who is sent to comfort, defend, and counsel us. When we speak in and through the Spirit, we are speaking in and through the One who knows and understands all our needs, all our wants, all our thoughts, anticipates all our deeds, and – when we’re stuck for a way to express all that, he himself makes his prayers with, for, and about us. Take ten seconds right now and read that last phrase in that sentence two more times. When we’re stuck for a way to express all that, he himself makes his prayers with, for, and about us. When we’re stuck for a way to express all that, he himself makes his prayers with, for, and about us. Who could ask for a better friend than that?!?

WalkingInTheSpiritKnowing that, we can better understand what Paul was telling us in Philippians 4:6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The Peace of God is what surrounds and saturates us when we are in the Spirit of God. Do you remember what happened when David was anointed by Samuel? And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. (1 Samuel 16:13b). God’s Holy Spirit comes to comfort and bless everyone open to his presence. In the prophesies of Isaiah, the Spirit of the LORD is grieved by Israel’s disobedience, and we read, Isaiah 63:8-10For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely”; and he became their savior 9 in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit; therefore he became their enemy; he himself fought against them. They failed to trust in the LORD and his salvation, relying instead on their own “wisdom.” That is not the way of God.

Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  God takes care of the just, the poor, the lowly, the humble; widows and orphans are dear to his heart and he charges us to be instruments of his Peace for all of these people. When we trust the LORD, when we are immersed in the power of his friendship, when we honor and reverence him – then we are ready to be friends with the Holy Spirit. We can make him part of our prayer life.

Can we pray to the Holy Spirit? Absolutely! How? Just like we pray to God the Father or to Jesus. They’re all God, right? That old question, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”  is just as applicable to the Holy Spirit. In my life, I decided one day that I wanted that – a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit. I prayed about it, talked with him, asked for his presence, even asked him to come and sit on the edge of my bed and hold my hand. I asked him to talk to me, to answer my questions, to be my friend. And he is my friend!  I speak to him many times a day, just as often as I speak to God the Father or to Jesus or even my guardian angel. And you know what? If I can do that, ANYBODY can do that. Does it make me saintly? Most people who know me at all will say, “Not that I can see.” Do I have an air of piety and the ineffable scent of roses surrounding me? Goodness, NO! However, I do know my friend is always just a thought or a whisper away. Jesus walks beside us and carries us when life is rough. God the Father walk before us and creates the world for our sojourn. The Holy Spirit walks within us and is the dearest and finest traveling companion possible. Therefore, Paul writes Ephesians 3:16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.

We can be strengthened with the Power of the Spirit internally as Christ dwells in the tabernacle of our hearts. Please consider the invitation to get to know the Holy Spirit as intimately as you know your Creator and your Savior. Again, are they not all GOD? Speak to him, invite him in, take comfort in his presence, share his joy, follow his counsel, let him pray your prayers. Become his ally as he has already become your ally. He is given to us for all of that and more. Ask him yourself. He’ll tell you it is true.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved

Share-a-Prayer:

For EN, recently and unexpectedly hospitalized in ICU. Pray for the family and for her healing.
For RN, recuperating from unexpected heart problems, but raring to go back to work.
For MB, waiting for a clear diagnosis regarding cancer before taking the next step.
For MC and all the other persons looking for gainful employment. Pray that they will interview well and work hard.
For everyone in the MBN, everyone we have ever loved, everyone who has ever loved us, and anyone who has ever loved them: Pray that we all will soon name among our best of friends The Spirit of The Living God.

chick

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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