It was 1980 and I had a big list for Santa. Technology was just becoming reachable for home use, with the early Apple computers and Atari gaming systems entering the market and I wanted both!
Christmas morning, I woke up and found a new Apple II Plus under the tree. I was excited to find out what we’d do with this strange new device, though a bit disappointed there wasn’t also an Atari. I may have wanted a gaming system, but my parents knew what was the better gift for me. I learned how to type on the computer, how to write papers, even how to do basic programming. In hindsight, that computer provided with foundational skills that guided me through school and set the stage for my career. I never did learn how to play video games. In truth, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed them much with my less-than-stellar hand-eye coordination, plus I’ve never been one to enjoy sitting still for very long.
The Holy Spirit is the Best Gift-Giver
As wise as my parents were in choosing the better gift, the Holy Spirit is an even better gift-giver. He knows exactly what gift we need, he directs us so we’ll be in the right position at the right time to use it, and fills us with the power to make us effective. Saying “yes” to follow Jesus was the first step, providing us some of the “what,” “where,” and “when”. Knowing our “why” and connecting to our story of what impact God has made in our lives gives us staying power. Yet, it’s the Holy Spirit who provides the “how.” We can’t follow where Jesus leads with our own power and direction. We can only go there if we learn to rely on the bigger power of the Holy Spirit and allow him to lead us beyond our own capabilities.
3 Ways the Holy Spirit Makes Your “Yes” Possible
1) The Holy Spirit gives us our perfect gifts
The Holy Spirit freely bestows His gifts on us as believers in Christ, but only the right and perfect gifts which enable us to accomplish God’s purposes in the world. He gives gifts we cannot get through any other means, gifts above and beyond any natural capabilities we could have.
If you find yourself wishing you had different gifts, remember these gifts are given for a purpose. No one gets them all, but all believers get exactly the ones they need to fulfill God’s purposes and bring Him glory. Instead of focusing your heart on particular gifts, focus on the giver instead. Give the giver your heart and welcome whatever gifts He gives.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17 NIV
2) The Holy Spirit guides and directs
Simply having spiritual gifts isn’t enough until we know where and when to use them. This direction and guidance comes from the lead of the Holy Spirit. He provides those nudges, prompts, whispers to our heart, and sometimes the not-so-subtle directives to step out and put those spiritual gifts to use in big and small ways.
While the Holy Spirit can be persistent and explicit, even when we’re not tuned in to listen, his guidance works best when we’re actively in relationship with him and listening. Ask him for guidance and direction, pay attention to the nudges, and act when He asks.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
May your good Spirit lead me on level ground. ~Psalm 143:10 NIV
3) The Holy Spirit fills us with power
God doesn’t ask us to work within the boundaries of our capabilities, rather He calls us beyond ourselves where we have to rely on His power. When we step out in faith, the Holy Spirit fills us with his power to enable and equip us to use the gifts we’ve been given for His purpose.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13 NIV
Knowing I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me makes my “yes” to Jesus seem more possible. I know he’ll call me out to deep waters, deeper than I can manage on my own. Yet, I trust that the Holy Spirit will equip, enable, and guide me through each step. I only need to be attentive to his lead, accept his gifts, and trust him to provide that just-in-time empowerment.