Giving Ourselves Over to the Holy Spirit
Letting go of our need for control and allowing the Spirit to guide us.
For many of us, our daily lives are characterized by a deep desire for control. So much about the world—about our own lives—is out of our hands. We cling to our schedules, our organization methods, our outlines; these are all means for us to feel in control. And if we could just find the right strategy, surely that would guarantee that we succeed.
But the honest truth is that even our most curated and calculated plans are imperfect. We fall short of our goals; we are faced with failure and powerlessness. This can feel like a frightening space to inhabit, but in fact, relinquishing control is an opportunity to let go of our burdens and find comfort.
In Romans chapter 8, the apostle Paul invites us to let go of control, and instead find power and encouragement in the Holy Spirit: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
We have been set free by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is our guide to fully embracing new life—a life of peace. We on our own don’t have all the answers, but we don’t need to! In times of uncertainty or struggle, we can turn to the Spirit. Paul continues in Romans 8:26, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
So often, our attempts to manage our lives—to control everything— are futile, or worse, they end up causing more stress and confusion. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we give control over to God. The metric of a well-lived life is no longer the world’s standard for success; our value is not determined by our accomplishments. Instead, we are defined by our relationship with the Lord—we are God's children and God is guiding our steps.
The Holy Spirit is with us always—constantly comforting, encouraging, and equipping us. And the presence of the Spirit in our lives is a literal manifestation of the promise of scripture. As Paul writes,
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
We can let go of our need for control. Our good and loving Creator has given us the gift of His Spirit to direct us and uplift us.
Words: Emma Tweitmann
Photography: Ankush Minda and Greg Rosenke