Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Set me free

Ps. 142.7
Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.

We have all been in prison in one way or another. I worked in a Federal Correctional Institution for a year and let me tell you, it was not a place you could get out of on your own. Two 20 foot razor wire fences with motion, heat and touch detctors. Armed guards. Locked doors and gates. Sally-ports where your id was checked and rechecked. You were not getting out if you were sentenced there.

Well, my sinful nature and addictions are my prison. I cannot get out of it on my own accord. I cannot escape it by thinking the right thing, or avoiding it. I cannot get out of it through therapy or church. Only God can help me break out of my prison that I walked into, that I sentenced myself to, and locked the door behind me. Only God can help me break the sin bonds with overeating, lust, pride, depression or anything other prison I can walk into and shut the door behind me.

Just like when Paul was in prison, God will rattle the doors open in some life-shaking experience and let me out. Its happening to me right now in my life on so many different issues and levels, because God is faithful. God wants us free so He can have our heart back, so He can be in fellowship with us again. He misses us, and wants us back because He loves us. Even if we are in our own Super Max prison (now there is a prison), He still desires to have you back. He still wants to set you free so He can have your undivided heart.

Lord, Set me free.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Searching for the Spirit

When and how were you aware of the Holy Spirit acting in your life?

My first and most significant time was at a retreat after 6 hours of praise and worship. I had fasted for four days, asking God to make himself known to me. I was aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit when a magnificent sense of peace and love overcame me to the point I could barely move...actually, I didn't want to move. I felt an incredibly powerful love for the men who were at the retreat, a love for Jesus that was tangible, and a desire to be closer to Him.

It has been my experience that the presence of the Spirit is most noticeable after an extended period of praise and worship (refer to my first posts concerning how I got there) and asking God to be known. I have also found that fasting for several days helps and that confessing my sins openly does as well. Its like God wants us to clean away the muck of our lives so He has room to inhabit us as we praise Him. This is just my experience, I am sure it is different for others.

But I would like to hear about your experiences with the Spirit. How are you aware of the Spirit? What to you do to make this possible?