Release the Spirit

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. —John 7:38

We honor the Spirit by releasing Him. Many of us think only in terms of the Spirit coming down, but He can flow out from a well deep within us.

How do we release the Spirit, both in ourselves and in others? In ourselves it will happen when we keep peace in our hearts with everybody we know. Sometimes we play games with ourselves and pretend we are at peace and that all is fine. It is like someone who loses his temper and then says, "I'm not mad." We can justify ourselves until we are a hundred, but the Spirit will never be Himself in us as long as we are unforgiving or judgmental, prejudiced, or speaking evil of anyone. It may mean apologizing to someone, or it may be a little thing like raising your hand in worship. But obeying His impulse is all part of honoring the Spirit and releasing Him in ourselves.

And we can release the Spirit in others when we relinquish our control over other people. We can refuse to let another person be afraid of us or admire us too much. (We never do anyone a favor by letting them admire us too much, for sooner or later we will disappoint them.)

The flesh, you see, always wants to control. But the Spirit gives liberty, and through Him we must release others to be themselves—to think for themselves. There may be people who are in bondage just because they are afraid of us, but we can help them. And when we do, the Spirit will be released to be Himself in all of us.

Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).

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