There are many verses in the Bible that mention being refreshed or renewed by the Holy Spirit. For example in Ephesians 4:23, it says:
"And be renewed in the Spirit of your mind."
We were studying the second half of Romans 15 at Young Adults last Tuesday, and the idea of being refreshed by the Holy Spirit came up. My goal that night was to get the group thinking about the importance of constantly seeking God and thereby staying "refreshed". My view is that to be renewed in the Holy Spirit comes down to how deep and intimate our relationship with God is. We can become more intimate with God through a number of ways, each just as important as the other.
The first is praying. Most people, Christian and non-Christian alike, do not really understand the importance of prayer and have been brought up thinking that it is just something we have to do in order to be "good". In actual fact, to pray is simply to communicate with God and is the utterance from our Spirit to him. Just as communicating with someone leads to a deeper understanding and relationship with that person, praying helps us to draw closer to God. If we do not communicate with him, we can never truly know our Father.
Prayer is powerful; it can give us discernment in our lives and is an opportunity for us to ask God for our heart's desires. Prayer can heal, just as Jesus did. Prayer can help us overcome addictions, bondage, and sin. It also has the power to change us as individuals. For the more we spend time with God and talking with him, the more we will be influenced by the Holy Spirit and by his love.
Reading the Bible
Almost anyone who went to Sunday School or grew up attending a children's ministry would have learnt that 'the Bible is your sword'. But it's only been in recent years that I've come to fully realise the truth of that phrase, and how reading the Bible can increase our relationship with God. As we read more of the Bible, we can start to understand what God requires of us and what it really means to be a follower of Jesus.
Some verses in the Bible that reinforce the power and vitality in God's Word include:
- "Put on the whole armour of God...which is the Word of God" - Ephesians 6:11-17
- "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" - Matthew 4:4
- "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope"- Romans 15:4
Quick! What's the first word that comes to mind when you think about worship? Was it something along the lines of 'song', 'hymns', or 'praise'? You're not wrong. Worship is very much about praising God, and can be displayed through song. Music has the power to stir emotions in almost anyone, and this can help us draw closer in intimacy with the Father. But worship is that, and more.
The Hebrew meaning of the word 'worship' is actually "to bow yourself down in adoring contemplation of God". We can learn from the book of Genesis, where the first mention of bowing down before God was acted out by Abraham (Genesis 18). The first ever mention of the word 'worship' later came in Genesis 22:5, when Abraham told his servants that he and his son Isaac were going to worship at the place God designated for Isaac to be sacrificed. So the early displays of worship had nothing to do with song and praise, but rather a multitude of activities. To offer sacrifice as Abraham did for example, is also a means of worship. Do take note that this was during the old covenant where sacrificial offering was common in order to gain the Lord's favour.
Now that we live under the new covenant of Jesus, we are called to be "living sacrifices" as our "spiritual act of worship" in Romans 12:1. Paul is basically telling us that our whole lives should be an act of worship to God. This might sound like a tough gig, but by pressing in to the Holy Spirit through prayer, the scriptures, and worship we can head towards complete transformation of our hearts and an evermore state of refreshment.
What do you think? How are you refreshed to stay focused on God in your journey?