In the last seven or so years, as I've attempted to live more and more in step with the Holy Spirit I have noticed a "pattern". Now, I would never claim that God is predictable in how He functions or works in the lives of His children. But there are consistencies in His character that we can count on. In fact, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul penned the following words to the people of Corinth:
"But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us--by me and Silvanus and Timothy--was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." (2 Corinthians 1:18-22, NASB)
The very last word in that paragraph also means "down payment".
Thus, all of the promises of God because of Jesus are "Yes!" There is no fickle back-and-forth, no trying to guesstimate God's promises. If He said it...because of Jesus...it is Yes. And we have the Holy Spirit in us as our spiritual "down payment" for proof.
How's that for an amazing return on your investment? Even Dave Ramsey can't beat that interest rate!
I'm explaining all of this because the promise the Holy Spirit reminded me of this morning is this one:
"Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
I would never tell you that this is a promise for financial prosperity...so kick that American-church-culture-prosperity-gospel-way-of-thinking right out of your head. What is does mean is that as I "delight" myself (aka "take pleasure in drawing closer to") my Abba...His desires become my desires. The things that break His heart (poverty, the downtrodden, injustice, etc.) break mine. And the things that please Him (mercy, grace, Love, reconciliation, etc.) please me.
Are we together so far?
If so, then let me give you an example of how this just played out in my life.
A month or so ago I felt the urge (aka leading) to share with our Community Life Director that as she's putting together a new ministry at our church for young adults, if she ever needed me in a "mentoring" capacity, I would love to get to know some young ladies in this 18-29 age group. I know there are a lot of women in this age bracket who either don't have moms nearby or their mom isn't a Christian or the relationship is so broken between them that they don't have an older woman in their life helping them navigate the waters of growing into adulthood. The Holy Spirit has also shown me that the passion, service and reckless abandon that the millennial generation is demonstrating is something I want to be near and will keep me young if I get to taste a small portion of it.
The Community Life Director was encouraging and said she'd definitely keep me in mind as she gets to know this group of young adults.
Fast forward to two nights ago, when in addition to our friend joining us for our new LifeGroup, the only other people to show up were...you guessed it...a couple who are newly married, in their early to mid 20s and are in the middle of dedicating their lives to the wild abandonment of following Jesus wherever He may lead them.
I loved talking with them. They were gracious. I got to feed them some homemade guacamole, salsa and chips and after they left, I was hoping they will come back next week.
This morning while reflecting upon the week we have had, the Holy Spirit brought to mind my conversation with our Community Life Director. It puts a smile on my face just to think about it.
He gave me the desire.
I acted upon it.
We followed His leading about starting a LifeGroup (when it made no sense to us).
And the Spirit didn't just send one young adult, He sent two to share our Wednesday nights together.
And I know I will learn more from them than I could ever teach!
Holy Spirit as a down payment on God's promise to give me the desires of my heart? Those are some odds with which I am willing to gamble!