We’re strangers here – we’ve established this. Earth is not home to us, but an extravagant tent. And we wanna go home, but our God isn’t finished with us here yet – He has things for us to do on this camping trip. And we know this, so we yearn to feel Him in any way possible, to grasp onto as much of Him as we can while we’re away from Home. And our hearts should crave Him. It’s a beautiful thing when our hearts are desperately thirsty for Him. But instead of laboring to find Him in ways that aren’t quite achievable yet, ways that leave us frustrated and doubtful, why don’t we give some attention to one of the biggest gifts He’s given us for our travels?
“He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.”
2 Corinthians 1:22.
The Holy Spirit. This gift – a member of the Holy Trinity, is what makes it possible for us to do anything good and Christ-like at all. And we have the Spirit smack-dab at the center of our beings, living inside of us at all times. We have constant access to Him.
We can start by appreciating this gift of the Spirit. We strain to feel God in the specific ways that we want to, and when it doesn’t work out, we become discouraged and ignore the Spirit that the Creator of the Universe has blessed us with. But we should be grateful. Why?
Because He’s God, and knowing that His children would get homesick, needing some type of assurance to hold onto, He gave us His Spirit.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
He knew we would need the Holy Spirit. He knew we’d need a guarantee, because it is not yet time to go Home. And if you ask me, to have the living God in the Spirit form dwelling inside of me is much more and much better than simply feeling Him. It’s a fact, and facts are much truer than emotions, much more stable than feelings.
Once we’ve humbly thanked the Lord for His Spirit in our hearts, we should also acknowledge who He is – and the Scriptures teach us this. He is: Helper (John 14:26; ESV), Advocate (John 14:26; NIV), Comforter (John 14:26; ASV), Counselor (John 15:26; NIV), and many other things. And what does He do? Well, He’s the one responsible for convicting our hearts, compelling our hearts, encouraging our hearts, teaching our hearts, sanctifying our souls, producing the good fruit in our hearts, and enabling us to do everything else that is holy and pleasing to the Lord.
What’s my point, you ask?
The Spirit is more than enough, and we so often live and behave as ungrateful children who want more but ignore what they’ve been given, and throw fits when we can’t get the extra. We should be overjoyed and overwhelmed with thankfulness when we think on the God of the Universe taking up residence in us. On top of this, we get even more gifts that overflow from this big one.
“Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial…”
2 Corinthians 12:4-7.
We don’t deserve the life of salvation. We don’t deserve to be loved and adored by the Lord. We don’t deserve to have the Creator of all things dwelling within us. We don’t deserve to see Him work and to feel His presence. We don’t deserve to be endowed with spiritual gifts. But we have all that we don’t deserve, and what will we make of it? Will we continue to moan and complain because we don’t get more of what we deserve? Or will we stop focusing on the ways in which we can’t feel Him and focus on the ways that we can both feel and see Him through the Spirit and the gifts that the Spirit provides for us, whether we have them daily or every once in a blue moon?
You may not know it, but every single one of you has at least one of these gifts – probably more than one. We’ll talk about these next week, but until then, I challenge you and I to ask the Lord for a more thankful heart for all that He’s given us – especially His Spirit.