My son Jaron asked me today during our devotional: “Mom, if Jesus emptied himself of all His God powers when He came to earth, then how did he do miracles and stuff?” This was a great question and so I thought for a minute or two of how I would approach the answer, and I said: “Jesus relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to do everything He did. Jesus was an example for us, because He wanted to show us that we could not do anything without the Holy Spirit, yet He promised we would do the same things He did and even greater.” Then Jaron asked, “How do we get the Holy Spirit then?”
I thought of several things I could say: One would be that we receive the Holy Spirit the very minute we ask Jesus to come into our hearts and that is true. Ephesians 4:30 (New International Version)
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
But then an analogy flashed through my mind of this very computer I am typing on.
I received this computer as an aid for my kids for their homeschooling. The agency that provided it for us loaded everything onto this computer that we would need for basic education needs, with a few extras. I have Microsoft Office which provides me publishing software, accounting software, power point presenters, and more. I’ve got all of that. But then I got to thinking, “how much of this stuff do I know how to use or access?” The answer would be, “not very much of it”. So I decided to approach the answer to Jaron’s question this way:
I told Jaron that to receive the Holy Spirit, all we needed to do was ask. The Holy Spirit would fill us just like He did for Jesus if we asked Him too. I know that God has already given us the Holy Spirit, but now it is a matter of us knowing what God has placed within us. Romans 8:11 (New International Version)
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Then I said that we were all going to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us.
Acts 2:38-39 (New International Version)
38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
I told the kids to lift their hands into the air and close their eyes and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to fill them.
All the kiddos did this…although Chad did it standing on his head 😉 It wasn’t long before I really felt the presence of God in the room. Jaron was earnestly praying out loud. The other kiddos were more quiet.
Then I decided to lay hands on each of the kids and pray for them and bless them. I took turns with each kid and prayed over them. Papa Bob, their Grandpa happened into the room about then and some of the kids got a little shy, but we kept praying with our hands in the air. Chad was still on his head, and so I asked him to start praying for his friends. Jaron started praying for his friends too and he began weeping. He was experiencing what it was like to pray in the Spirit and feel what God was feeling. I explained this to him that what he was feeling was the presence of God and he was feeling God’s heart. It was so precious!
Melanie began crying too and I was, of course, in tears as I watched God at work in the hearts of my kids.
Bob has been in sever pain with his back that past couple of days and has spent the majority of those days in bed, so I asked him to come and sit in the living room and have the kids lay hands on his back and pray for him. Each of the kids did, though Melanie and Chad were shy. I asked Jaron and Bethany to pray for Bob out loud. The other two kids didn’t want to pray out loud, but they prayed. God’s presence was there and the kids prayed for God to heal Bob’s back. We then concluded our prayer time with each of the kids praying for some of their friends. Each one had someone on their heart to pray for.
Bob told us today that he felt much better after the kids prayed for him…the best he had felt in several days.
It’s so easy for me to be like this laptop…boasting of all my capabilities, even being programmed and wired to do everything the software and hardware says I can do, and not really doing any of it. Easier still, is the idea of passing that knowledge on to my kids without ever teaching them how to access the “software and hardware”.
Today I am reminded again that we are never to young or ever too old to be filled with the Spirit of God. All we have to do is ask.
As a mom, I couldn’t be happier to see my kids reach for God and discover that He wanted to be with them and answer their prayers. May they have more and more days like this one and come to know their God even more.