Let’s say it together: “We are a work in progress.” I know I am. The work God does in me doesn’t just magically happen. Salvation didn’t turn me into a perfect Christian. The work in me is a process of my relationship with Him, becoming more like Christ, being more aware of the Holy Spirit living in me, and understanding His will for me.

Where I grew up in the South, I was surrounded by Christians. Somehow, though, I didn’t learn how to interact with the Holy Spirit on my own. There were many believers around town who seemed to communicate with Him in a way I was unfamiliar with. “Listen for God. He will tell you what you need to hear.” “God said to me . . .” “Sweet Jesus, speak to me.” “Girl, God is talking. Just perk up those ears.”

Young girls can be freaked out a little by talk like that when they are not accustomed to it. I was one who was freaked out.

Were these people crazy? I didn’t want to go away to Dorothea Dix, our state mental hospital. “Dix Hill” was not a place anyone wanted to go. I continued to question, “Can God speak to me? Can we hear Him?” I knew if He had answers, I wanted them.

Listening for God’s guidance is not crazy. He does speak. In the beginning, God spoke, and light, sky, water, land, sun, moon, creatures, plants, and man came to be. His words were powerful then and are powerful now. My soul longed for the words of guidance Jesus desired for me. I yearned to be guided by His voice.

As I delved deeper and purposefully searching to know and understand God’s desires, I see my tendencies to fall into the “do good” life over and over. And of course, the “do good” life relied on my abilities, not His. I rely on my energy and resources to figure life out. I allow my busy life to take the place of Jesus and inhibit the work He wants to accomplish. I fall to fear and anxiety, busyness, and filling my life with rubbish too often. All these experiences rob us of the Lord’s presence that remains within us.

As believing Christians, we know God promises to be with us always; He will never leave us. We know He numbers every hair on our heads, and He knew us before we were created in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). So what happens when what we know and what we feel doesn’t connect?

When we feel distracted or separated from Him, we first need to determine whether or not Jesus is indeed our Savior. Have we placed a different savior in front of Him? Identifying the idols that have blocked our awareness of God is the beginning. Defining Jesus as our Savior defines who we are in Him.

God is forgiving. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25). Better yet, He also forgets all our past problems and mistakes and lets us start over again. The problem begins when we don’t forget and start new. He forgets our past mistakes. We must do the same. We are a new creation because of His forgiveness. We only have to ask for His forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit is our daily guide. He guides us into the truth and the plan He has for us. Jesus lights our way, helping us understand the path where He wants us to go. Cling to Him, our lifeline, as He guides us through the plan, He has for our lives. God is everywhere at all times and wants to lead us forward. Jesus may not light the path in a way that gives us the comfort of full sight, but He is there. Step out in faith, and let Jesus guide you.

We may all be a work in progress but learning to listen for God’s guidance in our lives allows us to grow. To grow to be more like Jesus.

This Christmas week listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Embrace the meaning of the birth of Christ. God came to earth for us to experience him leaving the Spirit within us to help us be more like Him.

What are some things you can do this week to connect deeper with Christ? How do you hear from the Holy Spirit?

Merry Christmas my friends!

#makingroombook Chapter 6