How do you ride out the storm?

Dear Friend:

Do you want to go deeper with God?

Few, if any, would say no . . . but many simply don’t realize how to do so. But how isn’t necessarily the place to begin. Most likely, you need to begin with whom.

Clearly, this whom is the Holy Spirit.

About the Spirit, Jesus said to His disciples, “It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

Here’s why He made that shocking statement just before His death: the Spirit’s indwelling creates and encourages a closeness to God that Jesus’ physical presence cannot. It’s better to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you than to have Jesus in the flesh sitting across from you at the dinner table or standing next to your hospital bed or filling your church’s pulpit.

During my early years as a Christian, I kept a safe distance from the Spirit. Explaining Him was encouraged, but seeking to experience Him? Strongly discouraged. Sadly, that attitude is just as common today. Perhaps you have this same mind-set . . . maybe without even realizing it. But if we’re all being honest, most would admit the Spirit is very intriguing.

But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, "Where are you going?" But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. (John 16:5-8)

Like moths, we’re attracted to the heat and light of this divine flame, but barriers keep us from flying closer. For example, the fearful unknown might shun us away. Mystery and confusion, not to mention unbiblical superstition and extremism, shroud the Spirit. What a shame!

I’ve lived long enough and ministered broadly enough to realize that flying closer to the flame is not only possible, but it is precisely what God wants for us. It’s possible for you to have an intimate, vibrant, and deep walk with the Spirit. It’s possible to feel the warmth of His presence and to follow the light of His guidance. He’s a person! He isn’t a cold and sterile truth to be studied on the page and stuffed in the head. He’s like fire!

Starting this August, our Insight for Living broadcast will focus on the significance of the Holy Spirit. Fourteen sermons, in fact. I couldn’t be more excited to help others understand who the Holy Spirit is and how we can walk in His power, energized by His indwelling presence.

Now hold on—don’t call me an extremist. You know Insight for Living Ministries. We’re 100 percent biblical. At the same time, God is 100 percent personal. So we’re going to get very personal in this study. We’ll explore how the Spirit enlivens us, indwells us, empowers us—and how He even intercedes for us!

As we encourage others to go deeper with God this August, will you join Insight for Living Ministries by praying for us? Will you commit even further and send us a generous financial gift? The consistent praying and giving of God’s people fuel this ministry!

Don’t be afraid of going deeper with the living God. Don’t let excuses hold you back or distractions draw you away. He’s near. He’s ready to take you deeper. What are you waiting for?

Flying closer . . . going deeper with you,

Chuck SwindollPastor Charles R. Swindoll