In those wonderful chapters of John’s gospel where Jesus introduces us to the coming gift of the Holy Spirit, we are given intimations of a wonderful blessing that is far too great to put into words. Whenever I think about the fact that one third of the Godhead remains in incarnation, living inside of me, I begin to shiver. I think few of us Christ-followers truly pause and think about the true wonder of this, not to mention its myriad implications.
Scripture reveals that one of the primary functions of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to be the kind of people God has called us to be. Granted, experience has shown that we cannot live the kind of life that God calls us to under our own steam. We just don’t have the horsepower to do it. But God knows that and sent the Holy Spirit, which is just as much a part of the Father of Lights and Jesus was, in order to make sure that we succeed. And part of that divine mandate for success means that we are to succeed in all areas of our daily lives as well.
I often have to work at keeping this in mind. In terms of my profession, God wants me to be a success because any godly person who succeeds brings glory to the Father. If I sell cars, God wants me to sell a lot of them and bring glory to him in so doing. If I write books, the Master wants me to turn out the very best book I possibly can. If I teach school, then I need to give my all to the students in my classes. Anything less is beneath the standard to which I am called by the Divine.
Yes, as followers of Christ we are called to a lofty standard. Erwin Raphael McManus tells us in a clear and concise way:
If you are a sincere follower of Christ, then you are mandated by God to be a voracious, intentional learner. You cannot allow yourself to settle, to be less than your best in whatever field of endeavor you have committed yourself to. You must always strive toward excellence in whatever you pursue. And you are not allowed to ignore the world around you – otherwise known as the real world! You are not supposed to be a relic of the past or even a preserver of the past. You are to be in the world making it a better place to live. Rise to the top and see what God can do with your life. This doesn’t always mean you will be the best in the world at what you do, but you are supposed to be the world’s best you….Bring your best and move forward with confidence that God’s incredible ingenuity will use even your shortcomings to do amazing things through your life.
Indeed, it is the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, giving us inner light and personal power to become the optimal version of who we are. Here at Sacred Mind Ministries and at LifeBrook Communications we have as our mission to provide programs and materials that encourages and assists individuals and organizations to become the optimal version of themselves for the glory of God and the sake of others.
Without the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, we could never come close to achieving this mission. But through the work of the blessed Spirit, we can and often do find success in doing what we set out to do.
The Holy Spirit helps us in other ways as well. When we falter, tire and grow fatigued, the Spirit provides needed refreshing and encouragement. Charles Stanley, the wise and experienced Bible teacher and pastor describes this aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives:
Another way the Holy Spirit helps you is to empower you to use your gifts to their maximum effectiveness. All work takes effort and energy. The Holy Spirit helps you by renewing your strength, sharpening your senses, and helping you to do the greatest amount of work in the least amount of time in the most efficient manner.
Hopefully, you can see from what we have discussed that personal success is intimately connected with living up to your potential by making a firm commitment to excellence. This involves a working partnership between the individual and the Holy Spirit. God has called each and every one of us to a lofty standard and if we want to have a degree of success in our lives and also bring glory to God, then we must be obedient to that calling.
In light of the reality of our divine calling to personal excellence and the fact that God, through the Holy Spirit, has equipped each of us to live that calling, I would like to encourage and challenge everyone to make every effort to grow as an individual and as a member of society. Seize every opportunity to improve that comes your way. Make no mistake; if you don’t put forth positive effort in pursuit of your goals, nothing will help you. If you truly want the best from life, give life the best of you.
© L. D. Turner 2009/2014 All Rights Reserved