The Finest of Wines: Tasting the Goodness of GodJanuary 25, 2018
Embracing Your Christ-Powered LifeFebruary 8, 2018
As the Apostle Paul asked the new disciples he bumped into at Ephesus:
Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you? (Acts 19:2, MSG)
Having the Holy Spirit in your mind only but not inside you reminds me of our advice to engaged couples. Typically, it goes like this: The young man is expecting marriage to be like adding an addition to his house. His house (his life) will be pretty much the same, he assumes… but, of course, with his new wife added.
But the young lady is expecting a whole-house renovation! She’s expecting everything to change, including – and especially – her new husband.
He might be a mere spectator; she’s a participant.
And being a participant is what God wants for you. Listen to Peter, a former spectator:
…he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature… (2 Pet. 1:4, bold added)
What a precious promise: to actually participate—not in a religion or just in church… that’s for spectators—but in the divine nature.
But it involves a whole-house renovation to which we independent humans are loathe to submit.
Me, too. I’ve done it the hard way: room by room, begrudging each transformation. And this kind of remodeling approach takes longer. The mess and the frustration abound, and it cost me oh so much more.
Until recently. Now, I am surrendering to and welcoming a whole-house renovation. None of this remodeling stuff for me. Total renovation. From the studs out.
Room-by-room remodeling is a herky-jerky way to live and is most unsatisfying. So if you are still missing Jesus’ promise of the “life to the full,” take a look at your renovation approach.
Trying to add Jesus without being filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit results in a tired, beat-up, and harried attempt at being religious.
Jesus had a message for you about this:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)
Did you receive the Holy Spirit as a whole house renovation, or just religion as an addition?