Christianity 201

June 27, 2012

Paying Attention to the Movement of God’s Spirit

Today we’re introducing the blog ministry of Scott Daniels at The Rest That Works, where this particular post appeared back in April under the title Breezes.

I’ve been studying the Biblical imagery and language of The Spirit lately and was struck by a quote I came across today from James Caroll:

“There are times whe we stop. We sit still . . .  and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.”

The first mention of the Spirit of God in Genesis 1:2 employs the word “ruach” which means breath or wind. It implies movement as part of The Holy Spirit’s very nature. Later, Jesus implied the same thing about The Spirit when he was talking with Nicodemus:

“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.  What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.’  The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8, NRSV).

When we really look at that passage, it seems to imply that being born again is about paying attention to the movement of The Holy Spirit.

When I think about it, Jesus was always paying attention to the movement of spirit. Often the Pharisees said the right things but in the wrong spirit – they were clearly moving in a direction contrary to love. They were often working through a condemning spirit, or at least a spirit of ill-will. On the other hand, if a prostitute or tax collector engaged Jesus in the right spirit, he was quick to commend them. The direction the spirit was moving in a person meant everything to Jesus.

I’m trying to pay attention to the movement of spirit in me. I know when I am moving in love, and I know when I’m not. It can be tricky when I’m moving in fear; love sometimes involves fear, especially for loved ones. But then, if I’ll stop, remind myself of The Spirit’s presence and God’s love, fear subsides. As I trust The Spirit will work with my sincere desire to be about love, whispers come, not that the immediate situation will always come out perfect, but that God will work with and through hearts moved by love. The Holy Spirit can work with a heart intending the well-being of souls; bringing wholeness through love is what the Holy Spirit is all about.

We can rest in that and work with it.

Blessings in your efforts to rest in God’s love and move with The Spirit,


…I also enjoyed another longer article at Scott’s blog from April, check out Beyond Doubting Thomas.

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