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“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” Luke 1:35
We often think of the Holy Spirit as being relevant for the spiritual things – only; or primarily. Let’s see if Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is relevant for success in the non-spiritual aspects of life.
Mary was enabled by the Holy Spirit to accomplish the impossible. She was told she would be with child even though she was a virgin. This would be accomplished by the Holy Spirit of God who would conceive a child in her.
This feat of a child conceived in Mary is a biological wonder even though the purpose behind it is spiritual. What we have is a spiritual purpose made possible through a non-spiritual process that is enabled by the Holy Spirit.
Mary was not isolated in this. During the great Exodus event, God chose two craftsmen to work on the Tabernacle. This calling was accompanied with power from the Holy Spirit for the task.
“The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri … and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs … to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, …. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.” (Exod. 31:1-11)
The Holy Spirit enabled Bezalel, and his assistant Oholiab, and their whole team of craftsmen with the artistic sense, the manual dexterity, and the technical wisdom to beautify the tabernacle and its contents. Here we see a spiritual purpose that would be realized through a non-spiritual work, and that non-spiritual work was enabled by the Holy Spirit.
Saul was an ordinary man until the Spirit of God came upon him and enabled him to function as king (1 Sam 10:6-7). When Saul repeatedly disobeyed God, the prophet Samuel anointed David to be the new king. “And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” (1 Sam 16:13). But the enabling for kingship could only be given to one person. Scripture tells us, “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him” (1 Sam 16:14 NIV). Consequently, when David sinned against God and he cried out, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me” (Psa 51:11), David was referring to the enabling of the Holy Spirit for him to function as king. You may recall that in David’s life story, his sin was followed by failure in kingship for a time.
What has this to do with our life?
If you believe you are not functioning as you ought, where is the enabling of the Holy Spirit? If you are not the father or mother you ought to be, does not the Holy Spirit give you that enablement even as he has called you into that role? If you are out of job and cannot seem to find one, will not the enablement of the Holy Spirit imbue you with the right abilities and disciplines to get the job God intends for you? If you are in a job that you cannot handle, can the Holy Spirit not give you the appropriate abilities; or place you in another job? If you are in a failing business, can the Holy Spirit not give you the ability to turn it around? If you are a student, can the Holy Spirit not give you the intellect and discipline to accomplish God’s will in your life?
We pray for success. In most instances, Christians seek a success that is totally legitimate and not in opposition to God’s revealed will. But there is a path to that success. It is the Holy Spirit enabling you to do the work with success. We want success to come by open doors (the Christian vocab for “lucky breaks”.) God wants to give us success through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. We want success without the Holy Spirit. God wants to give us success that is dependent on the Holy Spirit.
If you put your trust in Jesus, you are already a child of God with the Holy Spirit living in you. But you may not have the enablement of the Holy Spirit – yet. If that is true of you, would it not be right to say the first order of the day is to ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your life and give you the wherewithal to do God’s will? King David understood that his spiritual condition hindered the enablement of the Holy Spirit in his life.
The hindrance to the Holy Spirit need not be King David’s type of sin. It can simply be a refusal to surrender to his leading and enablement. The leading and the enabling of the Holy Spirit of God come together. It is God’s grace upon grace, blessing upon blessing.
God does not seem to separate what we may normally regard as the spiritual and the non-spiritual. It is clear that the Holy Spirit enables our non-spiritual gifts as he does our spiritual gifts. And for the Christian, our life is a connected whole. It is hard for us to live a successful life without the enablement of the Holy Spirit. God’s formulation is a double blessing: the Holy Spirit enabling and leading us. The enabling of the Holy Spirit equips us for success in both all aspects of our life.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to enable you. Surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Be transformed by the Holy Spirit who renews your heart and your mind.
Note: The ESV is used unless indicated otherwise.