Last week, my Community Bible Study group completed a year-long study of the Book of The Acts of the Apostles. The book could be called The Acts of Paul, or even the Acts of the Holy Spirit. Today, for our final session, we had a sharing time of how the study had impacted our lives. These are some of the highlights of my discoveries.
The most significant help I received was recognizing who the Holy Spirit is and his particular involvement in my life. Although, I didn’t learn something I didn’t already know, I was reminded about the workings of the Holy Spirit and my thoughts expanded on who the Holy Spirit is.
Reviewing how the Holy Spirit aided Paul, I recalled ways the Holy Spirit has affected me. It was the Spirit who stopped Paul from going to Asia in chapter 16. And it was the Spirit who constrained him to go from Ephesus through Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem in Acts 19. Most Christians are aware of times when God opens and shuts doors which, in essence, must be the Holy Spirit showing us what is the right and wrong thing to do. September 16, 2011, I heard a voice say to me, “You’ve done the right thing! You should have done it sooner. Move as far away as you can!” At the time, I attributed those words to my deceased daughter. I say my very technological daughter has figured out God’s technology and communicates with me, though rationality tells me it was God. Now I realize it was the Holy Spirit! And I obeyed! I moved to Texas this past September! That is about as far away as you can get from Toronto, my last home.
When Paul was taken from Jerusalem to Cesarea at night to protect him from the Jews who wanted to kill him, he was taken by 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen, which was overkill for what was needed for Paul’s protection.
God did the same for me over a year ago – when someone who had threatened me was lying in wait for me to return home. While driving home that night, I was on the phone with a relative. Approaching my driveway, I asked my relative to stay on the phone with me a while longer as I suspected that person might be waiting for me. He told me that person was waiting. So I said, “Then I am not going home! I am going straight to the police.”
After the policeman heard my story, and asked what I wanted from them, I requested an escort home. When we arrived behind my condo development, I saw a very large armored-type truck in a parking space with men inside. I wondered what it was. I asked my police escort to please wait while I went inside to get my dog and bring him out for a brief potty run, because I didn’t want to be outside alone in the night. As I left the house with Guinness, a S.W.A.T. team was jumping out of the truck. I was stunned and impressed. I didn’t think of it then, but God the Holy Spirit was watching out for me and proving his protection!
Blessing us with spiritual gifts is another function of the Holy Spirit. In my current circumstances, I am finding God’s blessings all around me, and have achieved a level of continual joy from enduring the sad, destructive days of two years ago. I do praise God for all He has done for me. When people hear my story and express sympathy I say, “Don’t be sorry! God is good! He is leading me to a better life!” Last week a friend emailed me, “Your life sounds exciting and fulfilling. I love how you make the best of every situation. It’s a gift!” She said it! It is a gift from the Holy Spirit!