How to recognize the spirit (every.single.day.)

Burning in the bosom.

Tears of emotion.

A voice whispering in your ear.

That’s what I thought the Spirit was.

And I waited (and waited….and waited…..) for the Spirit to “speak” to me. For YEARS.

I waited for my bosom to burn.

I waited to cry with emotion.

I waited to hear a voice.

It never happened.

Was I broken? Was I incapable of feeling the Spirit? Or even worse – was I unworthy of the Spirit?

I didn’t realize until years later that I had been feeling the Spirit every.single.day.

I just didn’t realize it.

And my bet is, YOU’RE feeling the Spirit all the time without even knowing it!

Tunnels and Oxygen

First, a short story.

Whenever my family is in the car together and we happen to be passing through a tunnel, we all hold our breath and make a wish.

Now, holding your breath is really simple when the tunnel is short and you’re able to drive through quickly.

But then there are those tunnels that feel like they’re about 20 miles long and you’re driving behind a really old grandpa who is going 5 miles an hour. #torture

By the time I take a breath at the end of one of those tunnels I am GASPING for air; in that moment I am so, so grateful for the gift of oxygen.

Seriously- I want to throw a party for oxygen because I love it so much.

But here’s the thing, I very, very rarely wake up in the morning and thank Heavenly Father for the gift of oxygen. Actually, it’s not rare… it’s NEVER happened.

I don’t stop in the middle of the day and just breathe in the air and go “Ahhhh. That oxygen is goooooood!”

The simple fact is, I don’t really appreciate oxygen because I am always surrounded by it; it has become so commonplace that I take it for granted.

Oxygen and the Spirit

And guess what? The same thing goes for the Spirit!!

Each of us has been so surrounded by the Spirit that we don’t recognize when we’re feeling it!

It’s not that we AREN’T feeling the Spirit- we just don’t know that we are!

Don’t believe me? Let’s turn to the scriptures for proof!

9 Signs of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 outlines a variety of small ways in which you and I have felt the Spirit our entire lives, possibly without recognizing it.   

These verses outline NINE simple ways the Spirit works in you and me every single day.

As you read through these verses I want you to consider if you’ve ever had these feelings. Really think about it!

“But the fruit of the Spirit [so, what happens when we feel the Spirit] is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…”

Think about that:

Have you ever felt love for someone else?

That was the Spirit!

Have you ever felt pure joy- just total and complete happiness?

That was the Spirit!

Have you ever felt peaceful, or patient, or done something kind, or had faith in something?

THAT was the Spirit!!!!!!

Can you believe it, guys?

You and I have been feeling the Spiri all.the.time. throughout our entire lives.  But just like oxygen, we have been so surrounded by it that it has gone unnoticed!!

So What?

But WHY does it matter that we recognize the Spirit in these small ways?

Conversion!

When we recognize that simple feelings of faith, peace, or love are actually the Spirit…

  • Then we will realize that the feeling of happiness we have when we serve is the Spirit telling us it’s a good thing 
  • We will recognize that the sense of peace we have when we read the Book of Mormon is the Spirit telling us it’s true. 
  • We’ll know that when we have a sense of deep trust in President Nelson, it is the Spirit telling us that he is a true prophet.  

Rather than waiting for Alma-like conversion experiences, we will recognize that we have been having small and simple conversion experiences every day of our lives. 

Make sense?

Recognizing tiny SPIRITUAL MOMENTS leads to CONVERSION which leads to CHRIST!

And that is the BEST place we can be!

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Kristen is a former seminary teacher, an EFY speaker, and a BYU Education speaker. Her favorite things in the world are peanut butter and Elder Holland talks!

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