By Brooke Holt
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
Growing up, I spent most of my summer attending a Christian sports camp that was phenomenal in every way. For those there throughout the month of July, two events took place that I considered the highlight of the summer – the July Fourth Olympics and then Christmas in July.
On July Fourth, the camp suspended all normal activities and divided every camper and staff into four teams. Each team had a captain. This man or woman organized the participants for the events, designating who would compete in each of them. The captain also rallied the troops. He or she ensured that all teammates remained present at each event and actively cheered on the team, encouraged one another, and supported each other.
One of the most exciting events of the day was tug-a-war, a fierce competition! Six teammates worked together to hold ground and cause the other team’s flag to cross into their territory. An all-out battle always ensued.
The seventh and eighth chapters of Romans feel much like tug-a-war to me. Throughout these two chapters Paul writes about the battle that rages between our flesh and spirit nature. Thankfully, in Christ, a believer is set free from the bondage of sin and death and raised to new life in the Spirit. However, that does not mean the battle has ended. Instead, Paul teaches the children of God how to stand firm in the Spirit and turn away from the desires and temptations of the flesh.
As Paul begins to wrap up chapter 8, he allows the reader to feel the tension of this war. He reminds Christians this battle will continue until Jesus comes again. Until that day, God’s people groan for more of the kingdom of God. We know that kingdom remains now and ever-present, but the world, Satan, and sin also remain. How is the believer to push through the tumultuous times?
Just when the battle feels overwhelming and impossible to win, Paul reminds you of another grace. Even when you do not know how to pray or what to pray, the Spirit intercedes for you. This Spirit knows the mind and will of the Father, while he also knows everything about you. He knows what God wants for you, and he knows exactly what you need.
When you feel like giving up, the Spirit is with you to pray for you. When you are confused as to the faithful way forward, the Spirit is present to intercede for you. When the battle feels overwhelming, the Spirit cries out on your behalf.
You are never alone, and you do not face the battles of this world alone.
Consider this divine gift – the Spirit is interceding for you today, and he will do it again tomorrow. Receive the comfort, the conviction, and provision he has for your battle and journey. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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