But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 20)
This verse changed my life! I received Christ as a young, seven-year-old boy. A few years later, a family friend led me into receiving the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. To be frank, I saw little to no change in my life when I accepted Christ or received the Spirit. I was a kid who was only interested in sports, watching movies, and having friends.
My life was changed when I read and acted on Jude 20. When I took the admonition in this verse seriously and began praying in the Holy Spirit daily, I was built up spiritually.
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (Luke 24:49).
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).
There is a distinct difference between the Holy Spirit dwelling inside the believer and coming upon or clothing a believer. We need to discern the difference and the purposes of each work of the Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit within us is marvelous and so vast that we do not have the space in this small article to go into the details of it. Here are a few activities of the Spirit within the believer:
Most of us are on social media these days. We have all seen it. Somebody posts about some difficulty they are going through and the comments start coming, “sending you good vibes” and “sending you prayers and good thoughts.” That’s when I personally start to hurt all over.
First of all, when we pray it’s to God, not to the suffering person. So, let’s “send prayers” to God, right? And then if we are going to “send” something to the person, let’s send something that will actually make a difference! Good vibes are wonderful if you are laying on the table of a masseuse, but when a person is in a life and death situation or another crisis they need something more than that.
When I was a fulltime instructor at a Bible school in Bangalore, India I came across a common statement that I never heard much in the USA. Often after teaching a class, students would approach me eager to learn more and they would say, “Brother, I have a doubt.” Their English was more British based than American. At first, I’d respond with a smile, “Doubt’s of the devil.” But quickly I realized a pattern. They were not doubting God’s word, but they had a question about God’s word. In other words, “I have a doubt” simply meant, “I have a question.” This realization gave me further understanding of a passage of scripture.
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” is the question that Paul asked twelve men who he thought to be disciples of the Lord Jesus. Eventually he discovered they were simply disciples, or students, of John the Baptist. So he preached Christ to them and baptized them. Then the Bible records in Acts 19:6, “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
There are some prayers I pray over and over and over again. This is one of them, “Lord, show me what I don’t see.” And then I continually look, not with my physical eyes to this physical realm, but on the inside where the real me lives, with the Holy Spirit. The Bible calls the real you, on the inside, the “hidden man of the heart” in 1 Peter 3:4.
Why is what we see on the inside, with the eyes of our heart, with our spiritual eyes, so important? Because, we have to see something in our spirit before we will ever see it with our physical eyes.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
In John 10:10, Jesus said, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." The thief's purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came that you may have abundant life.