For the last couple of years, I’ve been posting articles for an online school of the Spirit in three areas: the Miracle Lifestyle (using the gifts of the Spirit outside the church), Prophetic Song, and Culture Shapers (prophetic inspiration in the arts).
Early in December I posted articles about a scavenger hunt in each of these three areas. First I listed the things I was looking to experience, then I noticed I was treating the list as if they were mere goals I had set. It became a to-do list.
After a while I realized this was missing the point. It isn’t about setting goals and trying to make myself do them; if we position ourselves to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us, this means we must make room for His presence to guide us and instruct us.
He isn’t a hard taskmaster; instead, He’s meek and lowly in heart, and He will lead us to find rest for our souls.
I listed more items than I could finish in two months, but God isn’t impatient. He convicted me to look back over the list and recall the moments when His presence drew near, and how He guided me, strengthened me, or taught me. Here’s a short list.
Stay filled with the Spirit. I wrote about this a few weeks ago – see Testimony: Spirit-Filled Living – and tasted a lifestyle in which the Holy Spirit was poised in my life, waiting for an opportunity to overflow with blessing.
Sometimes I let myself get too busy and started running in my own strength. I learned it isn’t worth it. It was amazing how little effort it took to get back into a place of overflow. God is eager to make His presence felt in our lives.
Culture Shapers. Get my marketing together. This is the kind of work I hate: learning to use new software programs, writing a bio, keeping up with paperwork. But I love to write, to create new graphics, and to get new sounds out of my keyboard. If I really want to get my art to the people God means for it to touch, I have to do the stuff on my desk.
I was complaining about the backlog on my desk and God challenged me with the words of Psalm 40:8 — “I delight to do Your will.” This isn’t a verse I can fulfill in my own strength, but Christ in me can do it. It’s making a huge difference.
Prophetic Song. Get into the flow at home. Lately, I’ve felt very dry musically. But because I’ve been seeking to stay so filled with the Spirit that I’m continually speaking to myself in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, prophetic song has come alive again in my personal devotions.
Miracle Lifestyle. Get a word to myself every week, then act on it. As I soak, I quiet my heart, focus on Jesus, and look for the spontaneous flow of words. In prayer times I speak the spontaneous flow as my prayer to the Father; in worship, I sing the spontaneous flow to God, and in ministry times I speak the spontaneous flow over people as a prophecy or as a prayer. But in my private devotions I’ve been writing down the spontaneous flow – and then I try to follow through in the next few days with appropriate action.
I haven’t managed to do all of this every week, but I have received two life-changing revelations from God about (1) the fear of God and (2) a restful way to pray the prayer of faith.
Has the scavenger hunt been worthwhile? Yes. I have reached out to God for several new things in Him, and He has been faithful to touch me with His presence and to teach me to move in Him. It isn’t because I’m great in any way; I’m not. But He is, and He is faithful to fulfill His promises to us. Seek the manifest presence of God, and let God Himself teach you.