I wonder if you know my friend. I probably shouldn’t say this because I am a pastor and I should be above this kind of thing. But, I have a very demanding friend who is driving me crazy. There, I said it. You probably know him because he hangs around our church a lot. He is constantly trying to get my attention. Always trying to rearrange my schedule so that I will be forced to spend time with him. When I do spend time with him it just seems to motivate him to demand more time. He wants to be the center of attention all the time. I try to withdraw and spend some time focusing on what I want to do: watch some television, check out social media, surf the web, pursue my hobbies, my job, my family, my church, and it seems like no matter how hard I try to distance myself from him, he keeps showing up and demanding to join me. Not only will he not leave me alone, but he often tries to tell me what to do and expects me to do it. He seems to think his way is always right. Sometimes it seems like he expects that there is nothing in my life my important than our time together. I keep putting other things ahead of him, but he just will not get the hint. It seems like the more I try to pull away, the harder he tries to push in. Sometimes he feels like a stalker, following me and strangely knowing where I will be and then showing up at some of the most inopportune times. Often, he can be completely overbearing, demanding, and relentless.
I try to withdraw and spend some time focusing on what I want to do: watch some television, check out social media, surf the web, pursue my hobbies, my job, my family, my church, and it seems like no matter how hard I try to distance myself from him, he keeps showing up and demanding to join me.
I guess as a pastor, I must own my part. I have not always done a good job of working to develop this relationship. I guess deep down at times it felt like the demands were too high. My time, my freedom and my priorities should come first, right? I struggled to try to find time to spend with Him. I struggled including him in what I do each day. I struggled to communicate with him. I struggled with the thought of running into him because it always seems to happen with I was the busiest and the most pressed for time. Why didn’t I just walk away from this relationship? Not an option.
My friend, the obnoxious one, is the Holy Spirit. He lives within me and was a gift given to me by my Savior. For a long time in my life, I struggled with this friend who seemed to demand so much. But I learned that His demands of me are nothing compared to what He offers me. Once I got to know Him, everything changed and more importantly, I changed. He is here to teach me all things and to bring to my mind those things that I have not remembered. He empowers me with gifts and reveals supernatural truths to me. He reveals to me the things to come and leads me in prayer even when I don’t know what to pray. He produces in me things I could never experience without Him- supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control just to name a few. He prompts me to read Scripture and explains it to me as we go along. He corrects and convicts me regarding my sins and motivates me to seek forgiveness. He takes me as a spiritual baby and matures me into a replicating believer. In addition, He comforts me, encourages me, and floods me with peace no matter what circumstances I encounter. Jesus said it would be better for me to have the Spirit inside of me than to have Jesus walking with me. I used to find that hard to believe, but not anymore.
I have this obnoxious friend. I hope you know Him too. He hangs out at our church a lot.
He produces in me things I could never experience without Him- supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control just to name a few.