how to be open to the Holy Spirit.

Today, I’m kicking off a Holy Spirit series entitled RECEIVE. Here’s an overview of some areas that I have found vital to receiving the Holy Spirit, and I’m looking forward to sharing specific stories with you in the weeks to come.

How to be open to the Holy Spirit. Let’s go.

Open up your hands. Seriously. This isn’t a big emotional action. The physical affects the spiritual, and so, as a sign of receptivity and surrender, we open our hands. It’s telling your own soul that you’re letting go of control and receiving more.

Declare openness over yourself. So often, I’ve heard people say, “I just can’t receive the Holy Spirit” or “that’s just not how my spirituality works” in disappointment. I invite you to declare over yourself, “God the Father sent Jesus to die so that I could receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants me to receive the Holy Spirit. I am capable of receiving the Holy Spirit.”

Put in the time, but no more striving. Don’t skip your daily prayer time. If you don’t have one, you need one. Your heart literally needs time with your Creator. From there, you don’t need to beg or strive. Your job is simply to receive. Ask Him to align your heart with us– something that happens only though consistent prayer. His love removes all pressure to do anything, and enables us to breathe and receive peace.

Get to know the Father. As the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son, we need to open our hearts to the love of our Father. We can’t have the Holy Spirit by rejecting the Father– or the Son, either. An easy way to get to know the Father is just to be a child. Ask Him to pick you up and claim trust in His provision.

Focus on the Giver, not the gift. Focus on the reality of being loved, rather than how the Holy Spirit is going to show up. This affirms our reality as human beings, rather than human doings. Place your energy in just loving Him, in pouring your affection out on Him. Because that’s really why Jesus came to die and rise– so that we would know beyond a shadow of a doubt our reality as loved, and He desires to receive it from us.

Practice fearlessness and dream bigger. Dreams are a gift and a birthright of royalty (hey, that’s you!). You can dream when you’re secure, which is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t mean control and plan, this means being open to all that He’s promised you. What are the desires of your heart? Where is the passion that He has placed on your heart? Are you moving in fear, or with the knowledge that you are operating under an open heaven? The veil has been torn and the power of the resurrection is accessible to us.

Be faithful to your vocation. Be faithful in small matters to be entrusted with bigger. Everything is grace, everything is made glorious. Seek and acknowledge His presence invading every moment, whether that’s in Biology class, a work meeting, or in worship. Choose wonder in the mundane, and know that He blesses the ordinary.

Invest in people. Participate in their processes, even as you claim the breakthrough. Don’t just show up for the big moments– be there and walk through the messiness. Don’t be afraid to pray with people. Don’t stress out about not knowing what to say– I claim that God wants to give you the words to set captives free. Just do life with people, do family with people. Be accessible and love big.

Break the boxes. Allow God to surprise you– you don’t have to understand Him. You don’t have to know exactly what comes next or what He’s doing. Let go of what you think He looks like, or how He should move, or how He’s supposed to sound like. Just go be you in His presence, with absolutely no pretense. And let Him be Him.

Worship. Your heart is going to be worshiping something because this is what it’s created to do. It’s your choice to decide who. Claim His glory and His goodness, and, well, let it be simple. Worship.

Maybe I’ve written about some things here today that are difficult to wrap your head around. Maybe some of these words are frustrating, because you’ve tried to trust, you’ve tried to receive.

But here’s the deal: receiving the Holy Spirit is a reality, it’s not merely an emotion. Deciding to trust is a movement of the heart, and sometimes feelings follow after. What God is doing and desires to do is not confined by emotion.

However, emotions aren’t bad. If you’re experiencing emotion, that doesn’t invalidate what is going on. God speaks through all of us, because He dignified all of us. 

No frustration, this is a journey. He wants you to be fully alive in His Spirit, and you’re not going to disappoint Him. He hasn’t led you here to withhold, and He’s not going to disappoint you.

I’m praying for you.

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