Posted by: Brian Musser | May 1, 2014

Influence

Work-Ship – Week Four:  The Spirit At Work – Day Twenty-two:  Influence

The first week we came to the conclusion that our definition of work must be based on God’s work.  If we are going to figure out what work is, how we are supposed to work and the proper place work should have in our lives it must be rooted in the way God works.  So we are in the middle of our three week exploration of the work of God organizing our conversation through the lens of the Trinity.

  • Week Two – The Father at Work
  • Week Three – The Son at Work
  • Week Four – The Spirit at Work

By the end of this week we will be finished with our three week examination into the work of God and we will be halfway done the entire 56 day devotional.  This week we will be looking at the work of the third member of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit.  Quite often the Holy Spirit is the overlooked or misrepresented member of the Trinity.  This is due to the nature of the Holy Spirit’s work.  God the Father’s work was in Creation, creating and sustaining it.  We can see tangible evidence of the Father’s work everywhere around us.  God the Son’s work was in history, redeeming and communicating.  We have the written records of the Son’s work.  But God the Holy Spirit works in the inner realm of humanity.  The Spirit’s work is to influence us.  The Spirit works on and in humanity empowering and convicting us.  This makes the Spirit’s work less accessible, less verifiable, less categorize-able.  The Spirit’s work is all about influence.

Genesis 1:2 (HCSB) Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

The first time we are introduced to the Spirit of God, it is named with the word for breath and wind.  The wind is very much like the Spirit.  We cannot see it directly but can feel and see its effects.  The wind cannot be seen but what it does can.  The Spirit cannot be seen but what it does can.  The influence cannot be seen but the results of that influence can.

Genesis 41:38 (HCSB) Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit in him?”

When discussing Joseph the pagan Pharaoh of Egypt can see the influence of the Spirit on Joseph.

1 Samuel 10:6-7 (HCSB) The Spirit of the LORD will control you, you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person.  When these signs have happened to you, do whatever your circumstances require because God is with you.

When instructing Saul on his newly appointed and anointed kingship, God’s prophet Samuel lists transformational actions of Saul as proof of the Spirit’s presence within him.

Acts 1:8 (HCSB) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus informs His followers that presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives will be accompanied with power.

Acts 2:4 (HCSB) Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.

And we see that this initial filling of the first Christians with the Holy Spirit was evidence by a miraculous sign of what they did and said.  The Holy Spirit cannot be seen but its effects can be.  The work of the Holy Spirit is not necessarily tangible but its effects through us are.

This can create some problems.  I am very skeptical of the Holy Spirit’s work within myself.  I’m not the best expert of what is going on within me.  I can very easily deceive myself about myself.  I’m not always sure what is going on.  I can often confuse the work of the Holy Spirit inside of me for something else.  So I doubt the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  But to be honest my opinion of the Holy Spirit working inside of me is ten times better than my opinion of the Holy Spirit working in you.  You see I have no direct knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s work in you.  I have to trust you to describe it for me.  I have to trust you that you are being honest with me.  I have to trust you that you know what’s going on.  I have to trust you that you are accurately communicating with me.  I’m not that trusting of of person.

Some of that was an exaggeration but not by much.  You see I don’t doubt the Holy Spirit as revealed within Scripture.  It’s that I doubt human beings describing the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  Now this has some interesting parallels in the world of our work.  Many of us have jobs that are more about influence than production.  We have jobs that are better designed to change people than to make items.  Education is a huge industry that has no measurable results outside of the influence it has over the students.  When we are at work influencing others we are working like the Holy Spirit.  This influence manifests itself in two broad categories:

  • Getting others to do good or empowering.
  • Getting others to stop doing evil or convicting.

Empowering and convicting are the two main ideas we will explore as we explore the work of the Holy Spirit.

What parts of your job would fall into the realm of influencing others?  Is your job mostly influence or something else?  If your job is about influence, do you empower others to do good or convict others to stop doing bad?

As you influence others through your work you can bear the image of God the Holy Spirit and bring praise and glory to the God of the Universe.

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