God’s Zeal for His House – The Holy Spirit’s Work

*** This article is part of a blog series by a Guest AuthorNic Thackwray. It is a journey into understanding better God’s Zeal for His House. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***

Prayer should be like paddling into a mighty wave and then effortlessly riding its force into the intimacy and victory of true prayer. The Holy Spirit is that wave!

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God …Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:14-16,26-27

If you could break our relationship with God as His children down into two aspects, it might be, first, God’s reaching out to us (in many varied ways) and second, our reaching back to the Father (in many varied ways). If we look at the scripture above, the Spirit seems to be helping us in both of these aspects. In other words He carries us in all aspects of our communion with God – us knowing and believing God’s constant message to us that we are His sons and daughters (The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God) and also our crying out to God (…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!… For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us).

The Holy Spirit living in us brings the Father’s deepest communication with us right into the very centre of our knowing and then takes the very depths of our inexpressible longings for more of the Father and His kingdom in our lives and the lives of those around us and expresses them perfectly before the Father. What a wonderful Counselor we have, that knows us so deeply and draws us in so fully!

A surfer has to exert a fair amount of energy to paddle into a wave but once they stand up, they are carried. They gain instant speed and can cover amazing amounts of distance in a short time. Some waves can carry surfers hundreds of metres in seconds. Paddling those distances is boring and tiring. That’s exactly what it feels like when I pray without the Spirit…boring and tiring. But to be carried by the Spirit in prayer, we may need to “paddle in” by setting aside time, meditating on God, praising Him, making a prayer list etc. This can take discipline and hard work, but as the Spirit picks us up we will find deep worship rise in our hearts, deep compassion for those around us in need, faith to see the kingdom come, authority to bring down strongholds, joy, deep love for our neighbour, intimacy with God and His presence filling our physical bodies.

Holy Spirit, help me to trust You to carry me in prayer. Help me to seek You in times of prayer and not do it without You. Help me to know what my part to play is and to do this with all my strength..

4 thoughts on “God’s Zeal for His House – The Holy Spirit’s Work

  1. Spot on Nic. I have just been dwelling on this via Psalm 1:1-2. The question there is, how exactly does one meditate on God’s law “day and night”. It sounds like an impossible task, yet this is what is needed in order to live in the fullness of God’s blessing. I felt that this points towards the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our hearts, drawing us to the Father, bringing bowls of incence in worship before him (Rev 4 – 5) on our behalf, prayer on our behalf with the very words we cannot express (Rom 8).
    In God’s sovereign power, by the extension of his mighty arm, He draws us near to him. Though we have an obligation to “paddle out towards him” (using your metaphor), He ulitmately is drawing us closer to him day and night – the HS is meditating on God’s law in our hearts.
    I would venture to suggest that this is the case even during the times when our conscious self is doing other things! The Holy Spirit is meditating and communicating with God on our behalf. This gives us access to the riches of God and the Bible calls us Blessed, like a tree planted by the water…
    Thank you Holy Spirit for the amazing priviledge of being instructed and mentored and counselled by you! Thank you Lord for your amazing grace and wisdom in dealing with us! We love you!

    1. What a great thought! That the Spirit is connecting us with the Father all day long! We can co-operate with Him by “listening” and “feeling” his leading and responding with all of ourselves! Holy Spirit, make us aware of your leading, how you are interceding for us, and help us to respond to You!

  2. If you love surfing, waking up early, driving to the beach, getting wet, cold and sore eyes from the salty water, and finally, swimming into the centre of the action, it is all worth it, when the power of the wave takes you into freedom and enjoyment. The surfer never doubts that there will be a wave; he knows that if he positions himself in the right place at the right time the wave will do the rest. It seems that although most Christians love feeling the power of the Holy Spirit, they don’t know how to regularly position themselves to ride the wave of God’s presence. Father, please give us the wisdom to daily ride the wave of your love, to be filled to overflowing with your Spirit.

    1. Nice extension of the metaphor! I must say that I have been challenged regarding this: positioning myself to pray. I’m not at all good at setting aside quality time to pray and when I’ve tried to be better, my past experience is that after making big plans and setting aside regular time, I inevitably become discouraged and give up when it becomes boring and difficult. To use the metaphor again, its like I decide to surf more but all I do is paddle around alot. Rather, I should spend my energy aligning myself with the Spirit, calling on Him to lift my heart to His heart, make His will my will, and then pray in the Spirit. Lord help me to do this! Help me to pray in Your strength not mine, but help me to spend all my strength on catching Your wave!

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