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DAY ONE The Hovering Spirit of God
In the beginning, all is formless, everything is waiting, nothing is finished. Some translations say all is chaos, waiting the touch of the Creator. And the Spirit is hovering over everything. Then come a series of statements (with some variety in form) from God: Let there be. And the hovering Spirit went into action with each command. And it was.
This is what the Spirit does. The Spirit shapes, forms, and develops what is waiting for the creative power and life of God. It is the Spirit of life and the Spirit who gives life ( John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6). The Spirit is everywhere. The Psalmist asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7).
The Spirit of God is always at work to bring you MORE life, to move you farther along the Christian journey, to take you deeper into the heart of God.
REFLECT & PRAY: What is still unformed in your life that needs the attention of the Spirit? Or where do you see the need for growth by the Spirit? Ask the Spirit to form and shape those areas of life.
Where is there chaos in your life? Where is life messy and hard and confusing? Ask the Spirit to hover over that chaos and bring order and peace.
DAY TWO The Breath of GodGenesis 2:7
What is missing in this verse? The Holy Spirit is missing, right? No, wrong. The Spirit is not missing at all. The Spirit is right there.
The Hebrew word is RUACH. That word is the single Hebrew word we translate as Spirit—spirit, breath, and wind. This is the single most dominant description of the Spirit throughout the Bible and in our current series.
The Spirit is the breath that animates your life. No breath, no life. Please note this, the Spirit of God animates all human life. The breath of God animates all of us. Without the Spirit, there would be no human life. “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Be sure to look at Job 27:3, 32:8, 33:4, 34:14–15 for striking insight as to the breath-Spirit of the Lord that is the essence of life. Each has a sense of wonder and dependence.
The word inspiration suggests this as well. When you are inspired you are “in-spirited.” The Spirit is in you. The Spirit is moving in you. That is what Spirit-wind does. It moves and it moves you. When you are inspired, you feel so full of life.
REFLECT & PRAY: Take a few minutes, close your eyes, get away from all the noise, and just breathe slowly. Inhale and exhale. With each breath realize you are full of the breath of God. The Spirit is your life. Be still. Be quiet. Be filled with the breath-Spirit of God.
Repeat this several times during the day. As you fall asleep, do this as well.
A Prayer to Use Throughout the Day
Holy Spirit, fill me with the breath-life of God. Animate me. Holy Spirit, be the wind that moves me as and where you want. Holy Spirit, inspire me in the way you know I need to be inspired. Holy Spirit, fill me, move me, inspire me. I am yours.
DAY THREE Revive Us AgainEzekiel 37:1-14
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation” (Psalm 85:6–7). This is our prayer. Revive me again. Revive us again.
Life. Live. Vivify. You don’t hear the word vivify often. It means to “en-liven” or to make alive. Vivify means to make alive. Revive is to make something alive again.
That is what the Spirit of God does. The Spirit makes us alive again. The New Testament uses the word regenerate. To generate is to produce or create or “beget.” To regenerate is to create it again or create it anew. That is what the Spirit of God does—it creates us anew. This is what Jesus was trying to teach Nicodemus in John 3:1–8. All these words have to do with life.
Ezekiel 37:1–14 is a vision of the Valley of Bones. In other words, the Valley of Death. Into this Valley of Bones-Death comes the Spirit-wind-breath of God. Look for each time the word Spirit, wind, or breath occurs. Each time it is the same word—ruach. What is the Spirit-breath of God doing in the Valley of Death?
REFLECT: What needs to be revived in your life? What has died or what is dying and needs new life? What needs new creation? No matter how dead you think something is, God’s Spirit-breath-life is stronger.
A Prayer for Today
Breathe on me, breath of God. Revive me, Spirit of God. Renew me, Holy Spirit. Do a new work in me and among the people I love.
DAY FOUR Create a Clean Heart
Psalm 51:1-12, Ezekiel 11:14-25, 36:22-29
In today’s Scripture verses you will see a recurring pattern. It is the pattern of sin that leads to terrible consequences.Then God works to overcome the power of sinful hearts. God promises to renew the Spirit that is in them.
Psalm 51 is about David after he committed adultery and murder. These are profoundly moving words. He knows how great his sin is. The passages in Ezekiel are to the exiles, about the sin of the nation, and about what God will do to restore them.
How you live matters. It matters a great deal. Never let anyone tell you God is not concerned about how you live, the choices you make, and the good or bad you do. Sin and holiness matter to God. They matter to the Spirit, who is, by the way, the HOLY Spirit (seeRomans 1:4), not the loving Spirit or the good Spirit or the patientSpirit, although the Spirit is all those things and much more.Fundamentally, the Spirit is holy, holy, holy. And sin grieves the Spirit and quenches the Spirit (more on this in coming weeks).
Sin hinders and limits the creative life, the renewing breath, the reviving energy that is the Spirit. Sin depletes, drains, and destroys you. Sin is the antithesis of the Spirit when it comes to life.
Here is the paradox. Sin hinders the Spirit, but we need the Spirit to hinder sin. What are we to do when we sin? Here is our need. We are to immediately do what David delayed doing. Repent. Confess. Mourn. Pray for renewal, restoration, revival, breath, and the fresh wind of the Spirit to blow again in your life.
Your Prayer for Today
Take the words of Psalm 51 and simply pray them. You can pray only them, or you can use them as the stepping stone to pray your own prayers. While God will not “take the Spirit from you,” you can pray for the Holy Spirit of God to fill you and change you.
DAY FIVE The Empowering Spirit
Daniel 4:8, 9, 18; 5:11, 14, Exodus 35:30-36:5
So far you have seen that the Spirit gives us life, the Spirit grows us to fullness and maturity, the Spirit revives us when life is faltering, and the Spirit creates holiness and virtue in us. Today you will see that the Holy Spirit empowers us with wisdom and skills.
There are two biblical case studies. The first is Daniel. While I have provided the core verses to look at, you can skim read the surrounding passages to get more perspective.
Case Study 1: What is Daniel known for? What has the Spirit done in him? How did this happen? For part of the answer, read over Daniel 1 and see all the preparation Daniel went through.
Case Study 2: Read the story of two artisan-craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab, in Exodus 35 and 36. Notice what the Spirit of God empowered them to do. Make a list of what the Spirit equipped them with.
The Spirit of God empowers us with wisdom and skills. This is not simply a magical zapping of these things into your life. These individuals worked hard, studied hard, prepared hard, and in that context God filled them with wisdom and skill. I would even say God multiplied their wisdom and skill. God increased it. You, too, need the Spirit of God for wisdom, insight, and discernment, as well as for skills and abilities.
PRAY: Consider what gifts and knowledge you have already been given and be thankful.
Now, ask for what you need. Ask for wisdom, and start learning and studying. Ask for skills and abilities, and start practicing. Watch what the Spirit of God will do.
- Songs We Sing
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