Rhonda’s Holy Spirit Story

I have seen “the Holy Spirit will guide you” at work in a person very close to me; my wife, Rhonda.  Rhonda believed the gospel as a high school student in Markle Indiana.  While attending a revival meeting at the Markle United Methodist Church, she heard the clear call of God’s invitation.  She believed the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  Rhonda was born again.

But Rhonda had no one to share this journey with her.  She had no one to explain what came next.  She was on her own in finding her spiritual bearings.  And her first introduction to serious study of the Bible was not much help.  Looking back, Rhonda says, “The Bible is where my trouble began.”  Why would someone say that?

One of Rhonda’s first classes in her freshman year at a Christian college was an overview of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.  These books are a fine introduction to the Bible, but an awful introduction to living the Christian life.  Which of these complicated commands were required to be followed?  Studying these books, and the Bible in general, as a new believer was very confusing to Rhonda.  And the joy of her conversion began to fade.  But the one thing she remained sure of was that God was with her and in her.

Again, no one was there to explain the difference between the old and new covenants.  No one was there to tell Rhonda that not all of the Bible was written for her to follow as a new covenant believer.  No one was there to exalt the supremacy of Christ and His magnificent promise to live His life through her by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Spiritual maturity seemed to come down to following a particular set of spiritual disciplines with an uncertain promise of success.

Years of attending Bible churches only added to the guilt and confusion of what Rhonda was missing.  Rhonda is a doer.  Rhonda is a servant.  Rhonda is a lover.  But we in the Bible church movement have elevated Bible study, and outlining, and parsing, and compartmentalizing, and memorizing as the highest goal of the Christian life.  If that doesn’t fit your personality, or giftedness, or learning style, you are looked down upon as less than; something is wrong with you.  You are not trying hard enough.

Rhonda will tell you that she has learned many things through Bible study, but study is not the primary driver of her life of love and service to others.  The Spirit is the one who was and is leading Rhonda.  The Spirit is sending folks into Rhonda’s path to love and serve.  And the Spirit is the one who empowers Rhonda’s sacrificial love.  I have seen it so powerfully up close as her partner in service and as the biggest beneficiary of the Spirit’s force in her life.

Rhonda is very fast at knowing the right thing to do as situations arise.  But she still felt under-prepared biblically and would say to me, “I don’t know where in the Bible to find this, but I know it is the right thing to do.”  I would reassure her, “Finding support in the Bible doesn’t matter.  You are DOING the will of God.  The Spirit inside you is coming out in beautiful ways, and we all are blessed by that.”

When Rhonda was fully captured by the grace message, the guilt and pressure of “it’s all about Bible study and understanding” came off.  And in a beautiful twist, she actually found a new joy in the overarching message of the Bible.  Understanding the place of the old and new covenants, seeing our total forgiveness, embracing our complete acceptance, and believing our “no separation” from the Father made the Bible less confusing and a fascinating picture of God’s unending love for us began to fall into place.

Rhonda now shares her story to encourage you.  Listen to the Spirit inside.  Love one another.  Serve one another.  Encourage one another.  You have what it takes to make a difference in the person’s life that God brings into your path today.

One thought on “Rhonda’s Holy Spirit Story”

  1. Thank you, Jay (and Rhonda!).
    Yes, may we each be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s daily leading in our lives. He will guide us to do His will. Our action is to Trust and Obey~

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