After three hours of driving we pulled into Montgomery Texas. The green city limit sign read Montgomery Pop. 489. Just down the street was Survivalist Emporium.

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First impressions? What am I doing here? I was invited to speak at Fellowship Montgomery on Sunday evening. I rarely accept Sunday evening events but a friend asked so I said yes. Now I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Just shy of a hundred women gathered. I couldn’t figure out where they had all come from in light of the population being 489! My friend asked if I would speak on the Holy Spirit. I opened by asking how many women in the room had ever studied or heard a message pertaining to the Holy Spirit.

Five.

I proceeded to ask, “What are your first impressions, reservations, hesitations about studying the Holy Spirit?” I knew the concerns. I had had them too.

Holy Roller. Speaking in tongues. Slaying in the Spirit. Ghost. “The Spirit said…”

Engaging the Holy Spirit freaks many evangelicals out. But the truth is Jesus said it was best the he go so the Spirit could come. The night before his death, in the upper room, he told his disciples he was leaving but not to be afraid (I’d be more than afraid, I’d be mad!) – that he would send another (of the same kind)- the Spirit. He said more stuff about the Spirit and in John 16:7 he said, “I know you’re freaking out but it’s actually best that I go because when I go the Father will s16077481769_354856195f_kend him.” (my paraphrase)

After we shared our fears, concerns and doubts about studying the Holy Spirit I proceeded to preach on how the Spirit indwells – always with us. Comforts. Guides. Convicts. Transforms (ever so slowly so we don’t implode). It was just a taste but I hoped the women would start to see the importance of knowing just who it is that lives in them. I closed with a prayer taken from Francis Chan’s book, Forgotten God, May we grow in relationship with the Holy Spirit more and more and belittle and ignore him less and less. 

As I pulled away from Montgomery I thought, “First impressions can be wrong.” Not only about the third of the Trinity but also about things less complex like the town of Montgomery.

If you live in Austin and you want to discover the Holy Spirit – come join us at Women, Wine & Jesus.