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Paracletia – Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit – Part 1

Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Session #1
Stop Dreaming and Start Building Your Dream with Jesus:
You are called and commissioned to make a difference 

 

Before we begin, let us pray.

Jesus said, in Matthew 5:14,16, that we are called to make a difference in this world for the Kingdom of God. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden…. Let your light shine so that others may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

With this in mind, pray this song as you listen to it and let the words sink into you, inspiring you as the Holy Spirit energizes your heart where you have a passion to make this world a better place. (If you have a guitar, the chords are included so that you can play along with the video, but first just listen with empty hands and open heart.)

And now, let us enter into the process of coming more alive in the calling to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reflection Questions:

Name a dream you have that you hope will become a reality with God’s help. How do you feel when you pray about it? Does the dream seem more real or less likely while you’re praying?

If you share your answers for class discussion, your identity will be kept anonymous. Some answers will be posted here as an example for others. Some I will respond to privately as time allows. As you read what others share, you’ll find that you are not alone in how you feel when you dare to dream of something big or important. And what you share will help others. Thank you for participating!

A.M. gave this response:

I am passionate about seeing people benefit from a relationship with Jesus. I want to see the Christians of my town of Katikati bond together, appreciative of the strengths that each denomination brings to the united church, becoming a beacon of love and light that draws our townspeople. That the light will spread throughout New Zealand, piercing the darkness of the oppression, until God breaks the oppression and New Zealand becomes a nation that lives for God in an atmosphere of Christian unity. I want to see a united church as the bride being presented to our Bridegroom, Jesus. Come down, Jerusalem, come down!

When I allow this dream to be expressed, it fills me with a burning enthusiasm and desire and joy. It’s a big dream but it’s not just my dream, there are many organisations, prayer groups, and individuals sharing the dream for New Zealand as a result of the Holy Spirit’s leading. Christian unity is my own passion, planted by the Holy Spirit as I watched and heard an Australian contemporary oratorio called The Jerusalem Passion.

C.F. shared this:

I wouldn’t call this a dream, but a couple of months ago, during Lent, I was watching the movie “Blessed Theresa of Calcutta”, and while watching I had this instinct that I should go over there to do some volunteer work for a couple of months. I checked the internet and yes they actually do have an avenue for it! It was there all the time at the back of my mind, but I was afraid of doing this alone, and in India with all the horror stories about cleanliness and people falling sick after consuming the street food. I kinda chickened out and was looking for other alternatives, maybe at home here in Malaysia, before I go over to India.

However, during that time I was completing my thesis and therefore I sort of pushed it aside from my mind and told myself and Jesus that I will do once I settle the thesis. After that there was a wedding I couldn’t miss. During this time, this calling was not in my mind anymore; I would get occasional reminders and I would ask the Spirit that if that’s what he really wants me to do: Please show the way. But so far I don’t feel anything when I pray about it — I just feel very lukewarm — I am still discerning!!

I am currently out of a job and I have this strong feeling that I am not going to have a full time job anymore, and due to this discerning process, I am all the more reluctant to actually get serious and start applying for jobs. I have this thing that once I am committed to a job — be it full or part time — I will not be able to get down to doing this calling that’s at the back of my mind nor any other social work in a more profound manner.

Perhaps I am not praying hard enough or discerning in the right manner?

Reply from Terry:

Whenever the Holy Spirit calls us to step out of our comfort zone to do something for Christ, two things always happen: (1) God makes it possible, (2) we experience distractions and interference and other seemingly valid reasons for not doing it. We overcome the second thing when we take the next step forward, trusting that God will make it possible in his own way and in his own perfecting time. Dreams and callings are fulfilled one step at a time. If we take any step too soon, God rewards our determination to trust him, and the next step will be blocked by him. We will know it’s him, because we have taken a step in faith. Only when we don’t try to move forward are we likely to be stopped by something other than God.

When the energy and enthusiasm for a dream fades away, it is very likely that the window of opportunity for that particular calling has closed. We can learn from this and thus turn our failure to take action into successful personal growth. And God then will open a new opportunity.

C.F., I would like to invite you to turn toward Malawi for your missionary work. Good News Ministries has a sister ministry there. We have a long-time and very close and dear connection to Father Joseph Kimu, who has built up quite a large and wonderful ministry of evangelization and raising families up out of poverty by providing education and food for children in schools that he founded, nutrition and hygiene counseling for the mothers, tools for growing more crops, etc. I’m convinced he is a saint among us. Anyone who goes there to help out will be well taken care of from the moment of arrival (picked up at the airport by Fr. Joseph himself or a nun). You choose how long to stay. Anyone who is interested in volunteering there can contact me for more information, but here’s a good start: gnm.org/malawi-mission/

B.I. wrote:

My dream is to buy my late father’s home. I had been looking after him approximately 8 years in his own home until he died May 2015. I just feel so comfortable living here, it is such a peaceful and prayerful house. I feel excited when I think that I could make it our family home. I often ask the Lord for his will to be done. If this is what he wants for me, it will be.

This is not what my husband wants, but then he doesn’t want to go back to our own home that is very wet and cold. I know he has to be happy with where we live as well. When I pray about it, I do feel peaceful and feel it could be right for us. I am going to keep praying that God’s will be done, as I know he knows what’s best for us all, and see how it all pans out. I hope this is the right attitude to have and I’m not just kidding myself. And I hope I’m not just being selfish. Have you got any advise for me, Terry? I would appreciate some words of wisdom.

Reply from Terry:

You do have the right attitude, and it’s not easy staying in this level of trusting the Lord. We can trick ourselves into believing that what we want is what God wants, and then if things turn out differently than we hope for, do we praise him and rejoice or do we feel dejected and frustrated?

Building a dream that is inspired by the Lord is more than just making a dream come true. It’s a journey of growing in faith, growing in trust, growing in reliance on God. When a spouse doesn’t share the same dream with the same passion as we have (which happens more often than not), God respects the marriage and doesn’t want us to cause division with the dream. We have to be very patient (which comes from trusting God no matter what happens) while waiting for the Lord to speak through the spouse.

My husband Ralph used to have a dream of moving to Florida. We lived in Tampa when we were first married, then moved to New Jersey where we began to raise our children. For years, he told me he wanted to move back to Florida, and I always told him many reasons why it was not a good idea. God eventually changed my mind. After 15 years of living in NJ, we moved to Florida, and very soon after, Good News Ministries became a new dream that God inspired in both of us.

Here’s another example: During our second year of building Good News Ministries, we were one month away from putting on our second, week-long Good News School of Catholic Evangelization and Ralph wanted to cancel it. Keeping this story short, I’ll skip his reasons and jump into how God remedied the problem. I went to the Tabernacle at church and knelt, crying to Jesus for help. I pretended to hold the conference in my hands, then laid it on the floor and smashed it. I said, “Lord, this conference is now cancelled. If You want us to hold this conference, You’re going to have to resurrect it. You have to convince Ralph; I cannot. It’s become an argument dividing us.” Then I got up, went home — and there was Ralph, telling me that he had changed his mind and that we should proceed with the conference.

So my advice is this: Stay close to Jesus. Lean heavily on him. Listen quietly, humbly, and peacefully to the Holy Spirit for guidance on how to proceed.

 


Session #2 >>>

Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit


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