Knowing your Strength

This past Saturday I ran in my first 1/2 marathon. Perhaps I should explain that this is the furthest I have ever run at one time in my life, and I need to clarify that I have dumb feet.  I am the recipient of feet that my doctor says “belong to that of a 60 year old woman”.  I’ve had double foot surgery but the pain is still there after all I put them through with College soccer and Highschool track.  So for me to complete this 1/2 was a great achievement, and I didn’t do it alone.   As I was running I had friends running with me. The most influential friend was Amy. Amy is pictured to the left with the white hat on.  Amy never complained or seemed to have  a difficult mile as we raced together. Instead, she continually encouraged, pointed out things about the course I didn’t know, and gave me things to look out for as we raced together.  For example, there was an incline that was particularly causing the joy to leave my life and Amy heard me sigh. Her response: “How we doin’ friend? You know this incline ends after 5 houses. Let’s count them together. 1-2-3-4-5. There. It’s flattened out. ”   At another place in the race, there were people passing out fruit from the sidelines. I asked if we should get some. Her response: “No, we don’t take anything we didn’t train with. You don’t know what your body will do. Oh, and people throw their peels down so watch the road as you run, you don’t want to slip on a peel.”  It was like this the whole way.  As we neared the last 2 miles, she would begin to say, “2 more miles. You’ve got this. ”  My response, “Um not sure that I do.” Her response: “You know what my dad says?  He says, you never regret pushing yourself harder, but you always regret quitting.”  The last mile came and I wanted that finish line.  Amy’s response: “We’ve got 10 minutes left.  You know what my dad says?  He says you can do anything for 10 minutes.”    And I am proud to say that we both finished the race in 2 hours and 20 minutes!

As I reflect on that race, I reflected on how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. The person of the Holy Spirit is alive and at work within us as we minister to girls and their families. When it gets hard—He encourages.  When we need clarity of His word—He helps shed light on the scripture path.  When we need His strength for a task—He gives us His power to bring glory to God.

3 things to remember about The HOLY SPIRIT as we do ministry:

1. He’s intelligent and knows things we don’t know: (1 Co 2:10–11) The Spirit knows the things of God and translates that to us. We know that there is a“mind of the Spirit” (Ro 8:27).
2. He possesses emotion. It is possible to grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30)  This moved me to know that The Spirit gets moved emotionally regarding the things of God.

3. The Spirit has a will. It is the Spirit who distributes spiritual gifts “as he wills” (1 Co 12:11). The phrase might even be translated “as he purposes,” because it shows a definite act of the will.

My pastor Mike Glenn taught us about the word Comforter which is the name given by Christ to the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16)  It translates in the greek as “paraclete” and means first Advocate, a defender, helper, strengthener, as well as comforter.
(Smith, W. (1997). Smith’s Bible dictionary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.) It also means “one who comes alongside”.

The word Comforter in its Latin derivation means “with strength.”

So as you are running that race in ministry life…remember you’re not running alone. You have “with strength” running alongside of you.

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