“In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica,” Stan began, “there is something he wrote that struck me as being exactly what God speaks to me through His Holy Spirit who is in me. He tells me so I will know how to relate to others.”
“Fill me in with what you are thinking,” I responded.
“Near the end of Paul’s letter,” Stan replied, “he urges the Thessalonians to admonish, encourage, help, and to be patient. These four things are exactly what the Holy Spirit wants to do in me if I will only get myself out of His way so I can listen, understand, and respond in obedience.”
Continuing, he said, “The apostle wrote ‘admonish the unruly’. That is certainly something the Holy Spirit wants and needs to do in me, one of the most unruly people I know! The Holy Spirit does admonish me. The question is how do I respond to His admonishment.”
“Secondly,” Stan continued, “Paul said to ‘encourage the fainthearted’. Without a doubt, I fall into the category of being fainthearted and need encouragement all of the time.”
“Paul next wrote to ‘help the weak’. Again, with all of my weakness, I qualify big time!”
“Last, the apostle said, ‘be patient’. Oh, how I need the Holy Spirit’s fruit of patience!”
“To me,” Stan continued, “the point of this part of Paul’s letter is that he is writing to the church, giving the same instructions that God gives to each one of us through His Holy Spirit. I can’t just look at this as something Paul wrote a long time ago to a distant church. No, it is God speaking to me now!”
Stan then added, “It is only as I listen to the Holy Spirit that He is able to build in me what He wants. And it is only after the Holy Spirit builds in me what He wants that I am able to reach out to others and seek to do the same. Until I have listened to the Holy Spirit and made what He says a part of my life, then and only then can I reach out to others and pour out for them what has been poured into me.”
“It’s like,” Stan concluded, “what Paul wrote about is the same thing as what God wants to say to me through His Holy Spirit. I just have to respond to God by asking, ‘You talking to me?’ And I can assure you that He is! Then my obedience is to follow.”
And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. 1 Thessalonians 5:14.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Holy Spirit to live within me. Thank you for what you want to do in and through me by the voice and power of the Holy Spirit. I confess that I do not listen to or obey His voice as often as you want. Please forgive me. And please help me in all that I need regarding His voice: hearing, listening, understanding, receiving, and embracing. Please help me with all of those so that you will prepare me to relate to others just as you want. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.