I’m convinced the key for the breakthroughs we need in our lives is friendship with the Holy Spirit. We know the Holy Spirit dwells in us but He is usually just an acquaintance, not a friend. He is inside our spirits but we have very little interaction with Him. The consequences of this really stink. We have become helpless victims to our circumstances & have forgotten that God is near. The Holy Spirit wants to help us in all the affairs of our life – relationships, finances, decisions, prayer life, schedules, marriage, etc. That’s His name, the Helper. But Instead of being led by the Holy Spirit we are being led by our emotions, addictions, fears, and circumstances. We’re finding ourselves in a cycle that can’t be stopped because we’re trying to live life on our own. The term the Bible uses to describe this is called “walking in the flesh.”
So how do we break free from it? How do we develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit and began to walk in the Spirit? A common phrase here in our IHOPKC community is that “we will walk in the Spirit to the degree that we talk to the Spirit”. As simple as it sounds I think this is the missing piece most Christians are looking for in their lives. We can’t be friends with someone we never listen to or talk to. Over and over again Jesus stressed the importance of our interaction with the Holy Spirit:
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. -John 14:16-18
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 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 things that I said to you. -John 14:25-26
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. -John 16:5-11
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.[c] -John 16:12-15
Though Jesus’ physical body is not on the earth right now He has given us His own Spirit. I think we’ve missed how big of a deal that is! Jesus, said it was so important, that is was better that He leave the earth so that it could happen. What does that say about the importance and power of the indwelling Spirit? One of the Holy Spirit’s names is “Christ in us”. The same God-Man who walked in Galilee 2,000 years ago is inside us. That same Man who healed the sick, and taught His disciples resides in us to do the same work He did back then. But this is the key point: In order to experientially walk as sons and daughters of God we must engage His Spirit within us. We have to actually talk to Him and develop a relationship with Him. We have a “billion dollars” in our bank account but we are living off a few pennies a day. The God of creation who did Genesis 1 is in us but we are trying to live life on our own resources.
So what does it look like to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit? Well, the Holy Spirit is pictured in the Bible as a few different things: a river, a fire, light of glory, and wind, etc. I like to take one of these descriptions and, with my minds eye, look upon Him inside me. As I fix my mind on the Spirit within me I then take the next step of starting a dialogue with Him. Here at IHOPKC we use the acronym “TRUST”. T – We thank the Holy Spirit for residing in us and for all that He does. R – We ask the Holy Spirit to reign in us, bringing our minds, will, emotions, and bodies under His leadership. U – We ask the Holy Spirit to use us to minister to His people. S – We ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen our spirits. T- We ask the Holy Spirit to teach us concerning Jesus and the daily affairs of our life.
We don’t think it’s strange when we pray to the Father or the Son so why should it be weird to pray to the Holy Spirit? He is God just as the Father and Son are God. As we pray we should expect the Holy Spirit to talk back to us. After all, prayer is not just a monologue. He is Christ in us and He wants to speak. Sometimes we will feel faint impressions. Sometimes we will get a picture or a phrase from the Bible. Often this is the Lord’s “still, small voice” and we don’t even know it! If we do this simple interaction for 5 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day I’m convinced that we will walk in the Spirit at a much deeper level.
The second main form of interacting with the Holy Spirit that can be a key for breakthrough in our lives is praying in tongues. I know a lot of people have been wounded by wrong doctrines and exaggerations concerning the gift but at the end of the day one of the greatest Apostles that ever lived said “I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all (1 Cor 14:18).” There’s a reason Paul said such a statement. We get a small window into the apostles prayer life and see he prayed in tongues a LOT. The Bible says that when we pray in tongues we speak to God. We edify ourselves & speak mysteries (1 Corinth 14). John G Lake, the great healing evangelist in the early 1900’s called it the “making of his ministry”. Smith Wigglesworth set apart at least 1 hour every day to pray in tongues. I don’t think it’s coincidence.
The great thing about this gift is we can do it anytime during the day! In the car, while we’re working, taking care of a baby, or grocery shopping. We can talk with our spirits to God and strengthen our inner man. I’ve found one of the best places to do it is in the car while driving places. We can turn our car into a chamber of encounter instead of listening to talk radio. The benefits in the long run are awesome. The Bible comes more alive, our spirit feels stronger, our mind gets clear, and we have more power to say no to sin! Generally it can be a struggle to focus my mind for the first 15 minutes or so but usually after a short time of praying in tongues I get a breakthrough and feel my spirit being energized. It may be helpful to remember that God uses the weak & foolish things to perfect His strength and to confound the wise. Walking in the Spirit isn’t that mysterious. We just need to talk to Him and recognize His nearness.
Jesus deserves to have the preeminence in all things and that’s one of the Holy Spirit’s main jobs – to declare Him to us and glorify Him. If we develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit we are in fact developing our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is Christ in us and He desires friendship with us more than we desire it with Him!
***For more information on tongues, or to know more of my thoughts about it feel free to email us.