The Bible begins with the Spirit of God hovering over the chaotic waters and bringing forth order and life. In the first talk of our new series, Liam considers how the Holy Spirit empowers us to continue his work today.
To read more about the story of Pastor Mick Fleming from Burnley, see this BBC article.
Here is a small-group practice to help you reflect on and apply the themes of this talk
The Holy Spirit is the one who brings order out of chaos. He did this at Creation, where he hovered over the chaotic waters and brought forth the land, which he filled with order and abundant life (Genesis 1). The first humans were also filled with God’s Spirit/breath, and commissioned to continue the task of ordering creation, working it and taking care of it (Genesis 2).
This practice is designed to help us reflect on our calling to continue the Spirit’s work of bringing order from the chaos around us. It lasts 30 minutes, and we suggest taking 15 minutes to work through it as individuals, followed by 10-15 minutes to discuss the experience as a group, using the questions as a prompt.
Practice (15 mins)
Divide a piece of paper into four quarters, and label each quarter with the following headings:
- Your home
- Your place of work or study
- Your neighbourhood
- Your relationships
Begin by taking a minute or two to sit in silence, perhaps with your eyes closed, and breathe deeply. As you do so, picture yourself receiving God’s ruach – His breath and Spirit. Allow the feeling of the breath filling your lungs to represent God’s promise to energise and empower you with His Spirit. Become aware of His presence with you.
For each of the four areas in turn, take a few minutes to ask God the following questions, and write down any thoughts that come to mind.
- Holy Spirit, would you help me to identify the chaos in this area of my life?
- Holy Spirit, how would you like to use me to bring order and life into that area this week?
You may not get through all four areas in the time, but focus on the ones that seem particularly relevant to you, trusting that God is leading you.
Questions for Discussion (10-15 mins)
- How did you find that experience? Did the Holy Spirit bring to mind any particular ways in which he wants to use you to bring order in chaos?
- Would this be a helpful practice for you to build into your life on an ongoing basis? Perhaps daily, or weekly?
Holy Spirit, Breath of God,
Would you fill me afresh and energise me for this week ahead.
Please give me eyes to identify the chaos around me.
And rather than being consumed by it,
Would you empower me to bring forth order and life.
In the struggles, would you fill me with your peace.
In the conflict, would you help me make peace.
In the questioning, would you give me wisdom.
In the hurt, would you help me bring healing.
In Jesus’ name