Led by the Holy Spirit

I find great comfort in Romans 8:26-27 - The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.  And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

When I am overwhelmed by the ongoing suffering in the world, the endless wars and enmity, the -isms that pervade, the new horrors I become aware of (I recently read an article about child brides that disgusted and saddened me), the hurts in the lives of people I care about, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit can hear in my sighs or silence or outrage prayers and translate those for God's ears.

I am also thankful that the Holy Spirit's job is more than conduit from our hearts to God's.  Some would like to minimize the Holy Spirit to exclusively be our Comforter.  While that is a significant role, the Holy Spirit is equally adept at discomforting.  As I said yesterday, "Sighs are not a synonym for apathy; they're a precursor to action." 

We sigh without knowing what to pray and the Spirit comforts us and prays for us, but, at some point, begins to prod us.  That's not to say we can answer all of our prayers or resolve the brokenness of the world - we need a Savior and he's not us.  It is to say that our Savior called followers, not observers.  The Scribes and Pharisees were quite good at observing Jesus, but they weren't his disciples.  When Jesus called a disciple, he said, "Follow me."

So while we can't make everything right with our own effort and work, we are led by the Holy Spirit to go and do in ways that reflect how Jesus went and did, in hopes that we can be part of how God's Kingdom breaks more fully into this broken world.

May we know both the comfort and prod of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost season.