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Just a quick note to let you know I've moved my blog to the following address:

http://www.michellebenthamcreates.com

Please visit me at REDEEMED...RESTORED...RELEASED: One Woman's Story of Living Free to read more about what God is doing in my life and how He is working those things to set me free. Thanks so much for following, visiting, reading all about it and supporting me as you have done so many times these last few years. If you follow my other blogs, the posts from all three of my blogs are going to be transferred to the new digs for one big blog about our journey to restoration and freedom in Christ.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holy Spirit Fall On Us...

**THIS IS A STICKY POST... For Newer Posts Scroll Down The Page**

** UPDATE: NEW QUESTION ADDED - See Bonus Below **

Hey Sweet Blog Friends,

I'm sitting here while about 40 pages of Bible study written by the women's writing team at our church cycle through my printer. I'm about to begin study and research in preparation for writing one lesson about the Holy Spirit which brought me to my blog.

If you were looking for an IOW post... I'm taking a break from IOW until Spring. I just have one or two too many irons in the fire, and want to focus on the ministries God has given me this coming season and doing them well.

Last night I facilitated the first group meeting for a Crisis Grief group. This is basically a support group for people struggling with grief and awaiting the beginning of the next Recovery Group classes at the end of January. It is different than my Bereaved Mothers Recovery Group in that we have no curriculum or basic structure. We simply talk and rely on the Holy Spirit to lift out of our conversation the areas that need His work and touch in the grief.

As I marveled at His absolute power in the room last night, I found myself drawn to preparing for this lesson this morning. And, I have some questions I would like your help in answering. I will leave these questions up for quite a while maybe through the first of the year... And if I can figure out how to make this a "sticky post" I will. (You may need to scroll down to read new posts.)

If you would send people my way and encourage them to answer my questions by linking to this post - I WOULD MUCH APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT and response.

I would like to ask that you reply to these as ANONYMOUS comments and be completely honest. I need some honest feedback about where you are with the Holy Spirit and your understanding of Him from Scripture.

Here are my questions: (Scale questions are 1 being not at all and 5 being an absolute must)

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, How important is the presence of the Holy Spirit to you in your daily life? Why did you choose the answer you did?

2. What do you believe the Holy Spirit's role is when it comes to your daily walk with the Lord?

3. When and how does the Holy Spirit begin His work in your life?

4. On a scale of 1 to 5, Rate your understanding of the Holy Spirit based on what you know today.
Please tell me the area you struggle with the most in regard to the Holy Spirit.

5. Who is the Holy Spirit to you?

6. How does the Holy Spirit help you?

7. What importance does your denomination place on the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

8. What do you personally believe about the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

9. How important is the Holy Spirit in the administration of spiritual growth and gifts?

10. When did you first realize the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?

11. When would you say you rely on the Holy Spirit the most? (IE: All the time, times of distress or trouble, some of the time, when I hear a teaching about it... etc.)

12. Would you like to learn more about the Holy Spirit?

Bonus: What are the distinctions between the persons of the Godhead (Trinity) as you understand them (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)? How is the Holy Spirit separate and distinct from Jesus as the Son of God and Christ?

If you would be willing to answer these questions you would be helping me to develop a curriculum that reaches across denominational lines and speaks to the heart of hurting women. While I will definitely be tailoring my curriculum to agree with the doctrinal teachings and statement of faith of my church, I also want to answer and validate the truth about the Holy Spirit by reaching beyond the assumption that anyone coming to my group would know what our church teaches. I ran into this very issue this semester and realized I need to do a little more homework. Again, please do not include your name with your comment - Anonymity is very important.



6 comments:

Patricia said...

Michelle, I'll be taking some time to read and ponder your questions. I will at some point be back to give my answers. They are great questions. Thought provoking.

luvmy4sons said...

Well...those are some questions...I will think on them and reply ANNONYMOUSLY later.

Lora said...

Mmm, you provoke some deep thoughts with your questions Michelle. In answer to number 12, yes, I'd love to learn more; but I'm going to need to print these out and mull them over. You stretch my little old mind!

Much, much love to you dear one!

Anonymous said...

1- Five. It's part of the gift of what took place on the cross- why would I want part of that but not all of it!?! I will take it all!!!

2- His role is to be the head and not for me to make Him the tail. I allow the Holy Spirit to control my days from the moment my feet hit the floor. Some days seem more effective than others, but I just trust that the Lord has done in & through me what He needed in each day and if not the Holy Spirit will correct my steps. Grace-Grace-Grace!

3- Upon my acceptance & belief in the bodily sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and that it was the 100% total payment for my sin debt. After my acceptence of the forgivness of my sin debt through this act of Jesus the Holy Spirit enters me.

4- Five. Because the Lord has opened my young eyes to the power of the Holy Spirit and what He means for me. I don't feel like I struggle with any part of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Lord has clearly showed me in His Word that my feet are on firm ground. Jesus paid the full price for my sin past-present-future and the more I learn of Him & His love & His sacrifice the farther from any sin I desire to be. So I don't struggle because I am excited to be directed and taught via Christ in me.

5- Literally, Christ at work in me. In my mouth, my hands, my thoughts, my deeds, my eyes, my feet, my entire life and everything about it, and everything I do. Christ working in me to show me Himself and draw others to Him through my body and all that comes out of it! If that's not exciting I don't know what is. I get the chills just thinking about it. It gives me confidence!

6- Correction, knowledge, leading. At least for me personally. These are the things I see in myself.

7- I am not part of ANY denomination, but I am part of a personal relationship with my Beloved Lord Jesus. I was raised front, pew piano side in a Baptist church though. I honestly don't know what emphasis they place on the baptism of the holy spirit. I don't seem to remember ever hearing about that.

8- Simply John 16:7. He said it was truth that the Holy Spirit was better. It's powerful! It's the operation if we allow it to be that the Lord can show us much victory as spoken of in God's Word. Why deny or stifle it?!

9- It is what empowers us to yield the fruit of the Spirit. VERY IMPORTANT!

10- Unfortunately too many years after I was officially saved because I was confused by wrong teaching that left me short of where I really was according to the cross & Jesus. In the last year is when I sought out to find Truth. It set me free!

11- All the time now that I understand it!

12- Oh yes! In fact, I pray for the Lord to just teach me more & more. I can't get enough of Him, His love, His Word or His Holy Spirit. My prayer is more of you Lord!

Anonymous said...

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, How important is the presence of the Holy Spirit to you in your daily life? Why did you choose the answer you did?
5

2. What do you believe the Holy Spirit's role is when it comes to your daily walk with the Lord?

The Holy Spirit is the breath I breathe - literally it is what being alive in HIM means to me.

3. When and how does the Holy Spirit begin His work in your life?

I think the Holy Spirit begins by drawing you to GOD by conviction of sin in your life and opening your eyes to see the truth of Jesus.

4. On a scale of 1 to 5, Rate your understanding of the Holy Spirit based on what you know today.
Please tell me the area you struggle with the most in regard to the Holy Spirit.

I would say a 4. I received the gift of "speaking in tongues" or "private prayer language" when I didn't understand anything years ago, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I KNOW HE is real!

5. Who is the Holy Spirit to you?
HE is a living Being that gives us life and makes us one with the Holy Trinity...it's the breath of life for power in this world.

6. How does the Holy Spirit help you?
I would not be a Christian if I didn't have HIS power in my life. I am miserable trying to just follow some rules...HE empowers me and glorifies GOD

7. What importance does your denomination place on the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
That's a problem. Some of them think the gifts are no longer working...half think some are...and others aren't...generally they are either confused or too proud to exam the scriptures for themselves..Sad.

8. What do you personally believe about the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
I think that the Bible says that unless the Spirit dwells in you then you have no part in Christ...People who live a life that doesn't reflect or glorify GOD and just say they "made a decision" when they were 5 to believe in Jesus and now they live any way they want without regard for GOD....I am glad I'm not the judge...that doesn't look like the life that Christ and the scriptures speak of.

9. How important is the Holy Spirit in the administration of spiritual growth and gifts?

HE is the One that gives these to us.

10. When did you first realize the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?
The moment I received HIM without asking...or working for it which I thought you had to do.

11. When would you say you rely on the Holy Spirit the most? (IE: All the time, times of distress or trouble, some of the time, when I hear a teaching about it... etc.)
Everyday...all day..I can't imagine being able to live the Christian life without HIM.

12. Would you like to learn more about the Holy Spirit?
Yes, I would love to understand how people who don't believe HE does much of anything now...accept "HE wrote the Bible" and HE convicts of sin and saves us and lives in us and we don't feel any different ever...I would love to know why they say they worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
They worship the Father, Son and Bible...HE never told us to worship the Bible...HE said it's word's were HIS words and we are to obey them and hide them in our heart.

Bonus: What are the distinctions between the persons of the Godhead (Trinity) as you understand them (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)? How is the Holy Spirit separate and distinct from Jesus as the Son of God and Christ?
I think this has always been an area of confusion..that's why the early church had the Council of Nicea. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have existed forever as One in three and Three in One.
GOD'S presence was among us in the Old Covenant in the tabernacle or temple Holy of Holies....with us as a man and as God as Jesus the Christ when HE called Himself the temple that would be torn down and built in three days...and then HIS presence dwells in us now...in the tabernacle or temple that we are supposed to be (Romans 12:1)

HE has always desired that we be glorify HIM and enjoy HIS presence forever. We often get confused and think HE is a means to something else. The Holy Spirit shows you that HE is IT....HE is our great reward and when we have it...we know we can't live without it no matter what else we may lose.

Michelle Bentham said...

The two responses excite me so... Thank you so, so much.

Blessings.