By Sean Mulcare
To live life in union with the Holy Spirit ought to be the goal of every Christian. This kind of living is the kind of living that requires a generous response to the Lord dwelling within you, and it will ultimately mean the death of your former self. To follow the Holy Spirit necessitates at times the denial of yourself. So how can you do this? How can you stay with the Holy Spirit in your day and respond to his promptings?
1. You must have a daily prayer life.
You can’t grow accustomed to know what the voice of the Holy Spirit sounds like if you rarely sit down and pray. A person who lives in union with the Holy Spirit has grown to know what the Holy Spirit sounds like through daily prayer. During prayer, there should be time for silence. At first, it may be only silence, but over time, you will grow accustomed to the way that the Holy Spirit speaks to you. In the silence, you will start to know the voice, peace, and/or presence of the Holy Spirit.
2. You have to remember the Holy Spirit with you throughout the day.
You can’t only pray at one time of the day and forget God for the rest of it; you need to occasionally remember the Lord. When you remember the Lord, remember that he is always willing and trying to communicate with you. Sometimes he will try to communicate with you not only for your sake, but also for the sake of another. You may feel you need to go talk to a person or to ask how the person at the checkout counter is doing. Sometimes this “feeling” will come from you, and other times it will come from the Holy Spirit. The more you follow this “feeling”, the more you will be able to distinguish what comes from you and what comes from God. In any case, whether or not the Lord calls you to do this isn’t essential. What is essential is to know that the Lord is with you and is always trying to build a relationship with you.
3. You have to be willing to respond.
In the words of my NET teammate: “Are you willing to be a fool for God?” God may lead you to do uncomfortable things – like talking to a stranger – but the more you do it, the less scary it will seem, and sometimes there may be great fruit that will come from it. The more frequently you respond, the more opportunities the Holy Spirit will give you to follow his guidance. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will guide you simply to remember his presence within you- to not do anything but to simply be. To be like Mary. Yet sometimes, he may call you to mission like Martha. He may call you to different things at different times, and if he calls you to simply be with him like Mary, give him great praise because doing that will lead you to great holiness. Be generous to God, and he will be generous to you.