Removing the "I"
“Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.”
I remember the first time I asked Jesus to baptize me in the Holy Spirit. I knew I needed a relationship with Him, but I had a lot of pride. I grew up believing some negative things about the Holy Spirit and was afraid I might turn into one of the strange people I had seen who made being filled with the Spirit look unappealing to me.
When I asked to receive the Holy Spirit, I wanted it to be on my own terms. I remember thinking to myself, I want the power of the Holy Spirit but I don’t want to be weird. I wanted Him in my life, but, because of my misconceptions, I wasn’t fully open to receiving Him. So when I first invited Him in, nothing changed in my life. My pride kept that relationship from developing. Thankfully, after studying Scripture and realizing who He really is (not spooky or weird, by the way), I humbled myself and opened my heart to the Spirit, and He truly changed my life.
Abraham’s life also changed when he encountered the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. In Genesis 17:5, we read God changes Abram’s name to Abraham. You might wonder what Abraham’s name change has to do with the Holy Spirit. It has everything to do with Him! The new letter in his name is h, and that’s significant because in Hebrew, h is ruah, which means “spirit.” So his new name symbolizes God pouring His Spirit upon Abraham. Ten verses later, in Genesis 17:15, God changes Sarai’s name to Sarah, and I think there’s a little detail in verse 15 that says a lot. God removed the i from Sarah’s name and added the h. This is a perfect analogy because I think many of us need to take the prideful “I” out of our lives to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Is there pride in your life holding you back from receiving all the Holy Spirit has for you? The Bible is clear that when we humble ourselves, the Holy Spirit can do a greater work through us. Once we do, our lives will never be the same.
Holy Spirit, please forgive me for any lies I’ve believed about You or what it looks like to receive you. I lay down my pride and desire to do things my own way. I invite You to come into my heart and change me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
- Genesis 17:5-15; Exodus 31:3; Joshua 3
Taken from The God I Never Knew, a Gateway devotion.
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