Holy Spirit

Brain on fire

Sometime ago I attended a training which held in one of the hotels in Abuja. Looking through the glass door of the hall I was in, I observed a security personnel who sat by the door all through the training session. Apparently, his responsibility was to keep an eye on activities just outside the hall which really were very minimal save the sparse occurrences of people coming in and going out of the hall. For most of the time, his chin was seated comfortably in his palm as he sat in a somewhat reflective mood. His demeanour didn’t look quite optimistic. I might be wrong but I felt his thoughts fell into one of two categories. He was either thinking about the past and current happenings around him or thinking about the future. Thoughts could wander from thinking about struggles along life’s highway to how last month’s salary got zapped so quickly or what financial alternatives lay in the future. Just my wild guess anyway.brain_on_fire

All humans think but we don’t all think the same way, we don’t all have the same thinking patterns and we don’t all process thoughts the same way. Our minds are factories processing several thoughts in a day. Usually, our words and actions are the products of our thoughts. We process all kinds of thoughts in our minds – the good, the bad and the ugly. If we act on the right thoughts, we get the right outcomes. If we act on the wrong thoughts, we waste energy and we lose out. Not every thought is productive. Not every thought moves us forward. But we can process the right thoughts and act on them – thoughts that propel us in the direction of our purpose and destiny.

Thought patterns determine what we pursue and what we seek to accomplish. Thought patterns differentiate the poor from the rich. A million bucks in the hands of someone with the wrong thought pattern would not produce the same returns as the same amount in the hands of someone with the right thought pattern. Said in another way, the value of money in the hands of someone who only thinks about acquiring property or amassing wealth is different from the value of the same amount in the hands of someone who thinks of providing solutions. By the way, note that solution-oriented businesses usually outlast for-profit-only businesses.

Yet again, there are two extremes. Some people believe that their human ability and capacity alone is all they need to create, innovate or achieve anything. Another set of people sit back and wait for the Holy Spirit to show them what to do and how to do it while sending their brains to sleep! Both extremes are dangerous. One denies the influence God can bring into a person’s life via His Spirit and the other denies the God-given creative capacity that lies in us. The child of God is blessed because he or she can enjoy the best of both worlds. We have inherent intelligence and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to call on at any time.

Let’s get ready to put our brains to work. Let’s task our brains. What ideas do we have? How can we do things better? Are there any other ways of achieving the results we get now? How can we maximize our gains and reduce effort and cost? In what ways can I apply my skills and talents? How can I serve my church or community differently? You might not always get immediate and perfect answers. Some thoughts might even appear awkward. But where the finite stops, the infinite kicks in. You can rely on the Holy Spirit to help. He would take the thoughts in God’s mind and put them in your mind (I Corinthians 2:12). He can also give guidance on the thoughts already being processed in your mind.

It’s always fantastic to pray in the Holy Spirit and look to receive His inspiration. Praying in the Holy Spirit unties wrapped up thoughts. It improves your capacity to innovate and conceive. It liberates from mediocre thinking. It propels to the realm of creativity. It fires up your thinking process.

There is nothing like waking up fired up with thoughts that make you wanna run or skip. So take some time to pray in the Spirit and this is something you can do before you go to sleep at night. Then expect to have God’s thoughts distil upon your mind so that you wake up with His thoughts and ideas on your mind in the morning. When you begin your day with the thoughts and ideas God put in your mind, you leverage on His wisdom to conquer the day. And when those thoughts are fired by the power of the Holy Spirit, you always have good success. Victor Hugo, a poet in 19th century once said, ‘Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come’. This is my version: Nothing can stop a Holy Spirit-inspired idea because its time has come!

 

Thought check: What are those ideas God has put in your heart that you need to act on now?

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Google and the Holy Spirit

An advert ran in the Nigerian media recently that featured a child asking her mum several questions which she could not immediately answer. Finally the child said to her mum, ‘Why don’t we ask Google’, to which her mum replied, ‘Good question’.Google

Google is a popular search engine this side of the world at least. I reckon that in China, Baidu is the equivalent of Google to them. We all use Google to get answers on the Internet, from quick updates on trending topics to resources for a thesis. And with their Chrome explorer, it becomes easier to quickly do searches on your smartphone, tablets, laptops, etc.

Almost everyone has enjoyed the help of Google at one time or the other. As funny as this might sound, the search engine has saved several relationships from a breakup or at a least a quarrel over who was right on an issue. Matters have been resolved by a simple search. Google seems to have the answer to everything you ask it. Once something is not clear, almost by reflex action, we turn to Google.

Google is accessible. Google knows your location. It knows your preferences and can return search results based on your preferences or browsing history. The information provided is increasingly reliable. And this is so because the information provided is usually tailored to your search preference, location, etc.

Google provides answers and does that quickly depending on your internet connection. So why ask God for His opinion on a couple of choices when Google can give you enough information to make a reasonable decision almost as quickly as you want it.

People ask Google questions and expect a sincere answer. Some of the top personal ‘Why/What’ questions on Google include:

  • Why did God make me?
  • Why did God make me ugly?
  • What is the meaning of love?’

So, when God said He would send the Holy Spirit who would teach us all things, was He referring to Google? Absolutely not!

There are several life defining decisions Google would not be able to make for you. Google does not know God’s purpose for your life. Google would make suggestions based on a man-made algorithm which is just but a guess. God alone knows what is absolutely right for you at any point of your life. God has a plan for you which only He can reveal to you. He does this through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows the heart of God and can reveal it to us (I Corinthians 2:9-10).

How close are you to the Holy Spirit? Have you sought His counsel today? Maybe you think He is not speaking to you again or maybe you are sure you have never heard Him before.

First you have to expect to hear from Him and then you have to listen for His voice. You also have to be willing to follow His counsel.

Some try to select what they need His counsel for. We usually want to hear the Holy Spirit speak to us on big issues – who to marry, what career path to follow, what business idea to invest in, what city to settle in, etc. But if we have not learnt to hear from Him on little things, we most probably would miss His counsel on the big things. Start to involve the Holy Spirit in the small matters. Involve Him in your plan for the day as ordinary as it may appear. Seek His counsel before you step out to visit that friend. Ask for His thoughts before you raise that issue at the departmental meeting. Ask what He thinks before you make that dress choice.

You would be pleasantly surprised to know He is interested in all that and can help you choose right. The same way you hear Him speak to you on the small issues is the same way He would speak to you on the major ones.

He wants to be involved in our lives to guide us on the big and little decisions we make. He can teach us the things we need to know and solve the mysteries Google has no clue about. So while Google continues to serve us in the ways it can, let remember that our ultimate Helper is the Holy Spirit.

 

Thought check: How can I improve my relationship with the Holy Spirit?