Jul 5, 2012

Flowers Fade Friday: Forgotten God

There is a book by Francis Chan called Forgotten God. Honestly, I have not read it yet, but I want to because I love the premise. It's about how we, as a church, put all our emphasis on God the Father and God the Son and neglect the Holy Spirit...

{Forgotten God}

And it's true, isn't it?

We have the Holy Spirit, which is the power of God, the power that raised Jesus from the dead {!!!}, dwelling within us each and every day.

And yet we don't think about Him much. And we don't often draw from that power. And sometimes we even shy away from it because it's freaky when people get tooooo spiritual and we wouldn't want anyone to think we are some crazy charismatic now, would we?

At least, I have thought that... and sometimes still do.

But over the past few years, I have been more in tune with the Spirit, asking Him to come in and move me and prompt me and give me power and discernment when I am in need. And sometimes He whispers commands or encouragement to me and I listen and obey... not because I'm charismatic or off my spiritual rocker, but because the daily guidance and power of the Holy Spirit is Jesus' gift to me...

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
{John 14:26}

And today I just want to show you one teensy tiny picture of what this looks like for me. Not to force you to do it too, but just to show you what it might look like to invite the Spirit in without being some overly spiritual freakazoid. And maybe you can ask God to show you new ways to invite the Spirit - His Holy Spirit - into your own life.

This is what it looks like for me. It is small. It is simple. But it is powerful. Because the Holy Spirit is God, ya know?

This is what my quiet times used to look like. Think: I need to read the Bible. Open Bible. Read one or two chapters. Close Bible. Sometimes journal or write out a prayer to God about everything wrong in my life or everything I need help with. Go about my day feeling pretty good about myself for reading one to two chapters of the Bible, and feeling exceptionally good if I wrote down a self-centered prayer.

This is what my quiet times look like now, only by the grace of God and His work in my heart and my life. Open Bible. On the reg. Pretty much every morning. Pretty much first thing in the morning. Pray: Lord, let Your Spirit be active in me as I read these words. By Your Spirit, open my eyes to your truth and transform my mind and change my heart as I read today. And when I am done reading, may Your Spirit be alive and active within me that I might live out and obey what I read in Scripture. Amen. Or something like that...

And sometimes after I read, if I feel compelled to write something... a journal entry or a prayer or a Scripture Doodle. I pray one more prayer. And I do something totally freaky. Like over the top. I hold my pen out in the palm of my hand while I pray. And I say something like... Holy Spirit, let these be your words, not mine. Your prayer, not mine. For you know all my thoughts and desires and you also know the will of the Father. So you take control of this pen and these words and bring my prayers in line with God's will. That's it. One more simple prayer in which I surrender my pen and my prayers to the Spirit. Because the Bible says that Holy Spirit knows what we should pray for even when we do not. And I can tend to get a little selfish without His help...

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.
{Romans 8:26}

That's it. Two simple prayers and one slightly odd action of holding out my pen. But the impact is HUGE. I promise. Have you ever tried reading a passage of Scripture only to find yourself reading the same verse over and over again or thinking about your to-do list as you read the very words of the living God? Or do you ever read the Word only to go out ten minutes later to do exactly the opposite of what that it says, whether sinning in thought, action or word? Me? I know I'm guilty. But I also know I have a Helper that can control the chaos of my self-centered mind and guide my thoughts and actions throughout the day.

So what about you? Are you wiling to try it? A simple prayer to ask the Spirit of the Living God to be with you as you read the Word and go about your day? Let me know if you invite Him in. I would love to hear what the Spirit - that Holy Spirit who can raise the dead - does in your heart, your mind, and your life.

*Linking up with Casey Leigh*


  1. Heather7/5/12, 9:41 PM

    This is SO good. You are an amazing woman of God and I'm honored to be your friend. The end.

  2. ruthy ann7/5/12, 9:41 PM

    such a great encouragement...Lately I've been in a selfish rut...i really like your idea! thanks for sharing!

  3. Andrea Ward7/6/12, 6:46 AM

    I finished my read the Bible in a year plan a few weeks ago. It was amazing to see how it all works together and how this part relates to that part way back there. I loved it!
    Then it was over and I had no idea what to do. I have tried one thing or another and it hasn't worked. We have been travelling and my quiet time has become nil. I suppose that would be why I have been stressed about the stuff we need to accomplish.
    I really needed the insight into a beneficial quiet time. Thank you so much!

  4. Samara7/6/12, 7:42 AM

    I love this post so much- I love the way your blog posts challenge me to look at my own life and especially my relationship with God. I totally agree with us neglecting the Holy Spirit (I am ashamed to say that I went to church for 22 years before truly understanding the Holy Spirit, and that was only cause I had to teach it to my school students). I love the way you challenge us to pray and appreciate the link to the Scripture Doodle- it is something I am keen to get into but wanted to read up more on it- and voila, you provided me with the link. Thank you :-)

  5. Chelsea7/6/12, 8:32 AM

    Yes. My excuse for slacking on personal time with the Lord is that I'm studying the Bible several times a week to teach my students. But it's definitely not the same thing. Meditating on a passage, taking notes, and doodling has really helped! And having the she reads truth community as a reminder has been really great.

  6. Nicole {Home for Hire}7/6/12, 3:14 PM

    such lovely and encouraging thoughts, Jen. We really do need our Helper, I think you said it spot on!

  7. Nicole M. Hutchison7/6/12, 3:30 PM

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. You remind me of a lovely song I love to sing or hum when I'm alone with the presence of our Living God. I need to check this book out, I'm always on the look-out for new reads.

    Another suggestion for you: check out Margaret Feinberg. She's a dear friend of mine in Colorado and a best-selling author and Christian speaker. Her books are AHHHHHHH-MAZING. I highly recommend all of them and I think you'd enjoy them as well.

    Big hug, Friend!
    Nicole @ Three 31

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