Sustainable Friendship

The first three weeks of the 18 Inch Journey are always dedicated to getting to know the Trinity. We spend a week focusing on the Father, a week on Jesus and a week on the Holy Spirit because we believe we cannot love ourselves or others well without have a clear foundation of love and friendship with God. During the third week of our school, we dedicate our focus to building friendship with the Holy Spirit. 

We kicked off Holy Spirit week with a teaching from Melissa about Holy Spirit the Friend.  As we gathered as a school for dinner that night, one of our students blessed the meal and prayed, “Father, thank you for teaching us about your Holy Spirit through Melissa. It is so good to be introduced to a friend by a friend.”   

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Here is a small part of what Melissa shared with our students about friendship with Holy Spirit. As you read her words, may you be inspired to continue building friendship with Him. 

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It was a meltdown of epic proportion, as we sat in our car at 11:30 at night, Cadence age six, Haven age three and me.  We were waiting for Jonathan to finish packing up his gear after leading worship.  It was one of those moments where both children are crying and you are asking yourself, Why in the world did I keep my kids up this late?  This was a terrible decision.  I tried for about 45 minutes to calm them down, meanwhile getting more and more frustrated at Jonathan.  Where is he!?  Doesn’t he know I am in here with the kids who are totally exhausted.  Every mom knows exactly what I am talking about…your patience is stretching to its thinnest point, you’re breathing heavy and getting louder and louder.  Exasperated, I prayed, “God, please help me.”  Of course it wasn’t a sincere prayer, but a prayer of desperation and total irritation.  Immediately I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Ask them where I went.”  I honestly thought, What a stupid question, but at this point I will try anything.  I turned around in my seat and said, “Guys, where did the Holy Spirit go?  He is the Prince of Peace and I don’t think He is in the car.”  They looked at me, totally confused and through tears said, “We don’t know where He went.”  I replied, “Should we ask Him to come back?”  Cadence said, “Yes. I think so.”   “Holy Spirit, please come back…Yes, Holy Spirit please come back,” came out of their mouths through the most pathetic sobbing.  Instantly the atmosphere shifted and they went from crying to laughing.  I am absolutely not exaggerating, it was so crazy and shocking.  They shouted, “He’s back, He’s back!”  As I sat there, totally dumfounded watching them shift from sobbing to laughing, my first thought was, Wow, it worked.

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Friendship with the Holy Spirit is like that.  It is practical, full of inspiration, ideas and correction because the Holy Spirit loves to help us.  He is the Helper, the Comforter, the Friend.  In fact, I would say that the Holy Spirit is the crescendo of the Cross.  It was not enough for Jesus to die for you.  He wanted to be in you.  In us.  “God with us” forever.  The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift we’ve been given—He is the Gift that changed everything. 

Friendship with the Holy Spirit is something you build and cultivate.  It takes time, but it will produce good fruit in your life.  You want to come to a place in your life where you interact with Him from a posture of friendship instead of just trying to reach out and grab fruits of the Spirit when you need them. 

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Can you imagine having a friend who you only fellowship with in crisis?  A friend you only talk to when you have an emergency?  That would be such a bummer!  Your friendship would lack intimacy, joy, depth.  If the only time you interact with the Holy Spirit is in corporate settings, then you’ve missed the gift.  You’ve missed friendship.  If you only cultivate friendship with Him in crisis, then your friendship will feel strained, because you’re only engaging Him when you feel out of control. We have to be a people who invite the Holy Spirit into every moment of our daily lives. Who are practicing daily submitting ourselves to Jesus so that when we get in a moment where we need to make a powerful choice, we can.  Instead of reaching out and trying to grab the fruit of the Spirit that we haven’t cultivated, we’ll be able to feast from the orchard that is growing in our lives.”

This week, we invite you to ask the Holy Spirit this question: How can I practice building intentional friendship with you?  Where do you want to meet me in my daily life and bring help, correction and comfort?