5 Habits - Spirit #5

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Friday 31st January 

Over the past three weeks, we have looked at three healthy habits that promote spiritual growth in us – Bible Meditation and Prayer Pathways and Sung Worship. In this week’s Everyday Devotions, we are looking at a fourth healthy habit – being filled with the Holy Spirit and then walking in step with him each day.

Bible Meditation

Acts 19:1-7

1 Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

1) How does the fact that verse 1 tells us that these twelve Ephesians were “disciples” answer the idea that to be a Christian is to be filled automatically with the Holy Spirit?

2) How does Paul’s question in verse 2 make it clear that being baptised with the Holy Spirit is not automatic at conversion?

3) Based on these verses, how would you instruct somebody who is a Christian but who is feeling frustrated that God doesn’t seem to answer their prayers to fill them with his Holy Spirit?

4) After their own acts of obedience, Paul places his hands on the twelve Ephesians. Why do you think this is significant? If you feel frustrated that God doesn’t seem to have filled you with his Holy Spirit, in spite of your prayers, who might you ask to lay hands on you and pray? Might you ask your Life Group Leader or a member of the prayer team on Sunday?

Ephesians 5:14-20

14 “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

5) Many years later, Paul wrote to the Ephesian church to encourage its members to go on being filled with the Holy Spirit. What do you think is the difference between being filled with the Holy Spirit (initially) and going on being filled with the Holy Spirit (each new day)?

6) How big a factor do you think our own spiritual sleepiness can be in our lack of experience of the Holy Spirit?

7) How big a help do you think our gathering together ought to be for our daily experience of the Holy Spirit? What difference would it make if we were constantly ‘speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit’?

8) How can you make a start on doing that today and across this weekend?

Prayer Pathway

It’s amazing to think that the same Holy Spirit who dwelt in power in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle comes to dwell in us in power today. Let’s therefore use The Moses Prayer that we have been learning together as our prayer pathway for today. Let’s use each of the items that the high priest passed on his way into the Holy of Holies as fuel for rejoicing in God’s Spirit today:

COURTYARD WALLS: Begin by confessing God’s greatness and total otherness. Worship him in his holiness, then rejoice that he still invites you to come near. The Israelites had God’s Spirit dwelling near them, but we have God’s Spirit dwelling in us.

BRONZE ALTAR: Confess your specific sins to God, thanking him that you are declared totally righteous by grace through the once-for-all blood sacrifice of Jesus.

BRONZE LAVER: Ask God to wash you and change you, filling you with the water of his Holy Spirit and yielding the fruit of the Spirit in your heart – the character described in Galatians 5:22-24.

TABLE AND LAMPSTAND: Thank God for his Word and for his Spirit. Pledge that you will live by both of them today, obeying God’s Word even when you disagree with it and following the Spirit’s promptings even when you are scared by them.

ALTAR OF INCENSE: Spend time worshipping God and bringing specific prayer requests to him for your friends, for your family, for your church and for your nation. Make big requests that are worthy of such a great God.

THE ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE: End by enjoying the presence of God. Don’t rush away. Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and spend time resting in his presence before you carry on with the rest of your day.

End with Worship

In order to help you to respond to God in sung worship, we have created two playlists for you on Spotify:

The Everyday Devotions playlist contains a handful of songs which are particularly relevant to our Everyday Devotions this week. This song list changes each week along with our devotions.

The Everyday Church Song List playlist contains most of the songs that we are singing right now across the venues of Everyday Church. This is a wider song list for you to play throughout the day to help you worship as you wash up, as you drive, as you shower, as you sit on the bus and as you go about your day.

If you are somewhere where you can sing loudly, why not use these two playlists to end by singing some songs of worship to the Lord? If you are on the bus or train, why not put on your headphones and sing in your heart to God instead?

This week the songs are largely prayers for God to fill us with his Holy Spirit.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders

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