So, what have I learned today? One thing I've learned is the discouragement from the Enemy that seems to always come when you are willing to obey and learn from Christ. It seems to never fail - yet neither does Christ's love. That is one of the most comforting and humbling truths! I am so forever grateful that God's love never fails me. First Corinthians 13:8 says that "love never fails". God is love and God never fails.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."
-1 John 4:16
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
-1 John 4:8
Those verses just make me think "wow"... And God is not only love, but He is holy. His holiness encompasses every attribute of Him. His love is a Holy Love. He is so perfect and awesome!
Something else that made me think today is a devotion that I read from Charles Stanley. He was talking about how he used to consider the Holy Spirit an "it" - until a doctoral student at the seminary he was attending directed him towards verses in Scripture that made Charles Stanley realize how wrong his view had been. They also made me realize how irrelevant I have made the Holy Spirit - how I have reduced Him to an "it" and pushed Him to the side. I encourage you to read the following verses, as I did. They really changed my view...
"...but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
-1 Corinthians 2:10,11
And as Charles Stanley puts it, He "illuminates the truth for us."
"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as He determines."
-1 Corinthians 12:7-11
The Holy Spirit determines the spiritual gifts that all saved people are given.
"I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me."
Paul refers to the Holy Spirit's love in this verse.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
And he warns against grieving Him in this verse.
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you."
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
This same Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside each and every one of those who accepts Christ's gift of Salvation. He is a Counselor (John 14:16, 26), a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), the Spirit of truth (John 14:17), One who loves (Romans 15:3), One not accepted or known by the world (John 14:17), One who is Holy (His Name!), One who knows the very thoughts of God (1 Corinthians 2:11). He is dwelling inside of me! Wow, what a realization! Sadly, I so often "dwarf" the Holy Spirit into an irrelevant "it" - when HE is so much more!
When God puts these things into perspective for me, I realize how so much I have... My fears and the Enemy's discouragement are nothing compared to what I have in Christ! I have the Holy Spirit, who is as much as a "He" as God the Father and Jesus Christ. He is part of the Trinity and very much a part of my life. I just need to allow Him to work in me and teach me and lead me.
Also - if the Holy Spirit is not known or accepted by this world and He lives inside of me, then it is only normal that I be not "known" or "accepted" by this world, is it not? Just something that made me think...