If you could hear the inside of my mind, you’d hear me daily thanking the Lord for my husband, our community, and His constant provision of food, home, and flat out help.
This Thanksgiving week, I find myself thanking God even more often for something else – His Spirit inside me.
Do you know this person of God? Who is He to you?
There are many perspectives, different and alike, about Holy Spirit out there:
“The Holy Spirit is neither a passive presence nor emotional excitement. The Holy Spirit comes from God’s presence, but he is not God’s pervading divine fog floating over the world. The Holy Spirit is a person, separate and distinct from whom Christians identify as God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ.” Tim Burns
“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit set apart, belonging to God. He is God’s power and presence among his people.” Kevin DeYoung
“The Spirit’s all-consuming passion is to exalt Christ to the end of the earth.” John Piper
“The Holy Spirit is God living inside of us.” Chase Culbertson
“Jesus promised a Helper of the same kind rather than of a different kind. The Spirit is the parakletos, the one who comes alongside. Jesus said He would “be with you forever … he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). In other words, His ministry is both permanent and personal.” Alistair Begg
Graciously, I have always believed in the Holy Spirit of the Bible. What I found in recent years, even recent months, is how much I was NOT depending on and interacting with Him as a real person.
Let me say loudly: there is a vast difference.
There is a difference between knowing things about this person of the Trinity, and engaging with Him personally.
“A steady diet of [these] worldly influences will shape our view of what is valuable, what is beautiful, and what is important in life.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss
The these this author is referring to includes television, friends, magazines, movies, and malls.
The older I get, the more I realize just how vital it is to be aware of what I allow into my mind. And even more important, for me, mindful of what I allow to remain there.
I say ‘aware of what I allow’ because while sometimes I can’t help seeing a billboard driving down the interstate, more often than not, it’s my choice.
One of our favorite things to do while cruising this week was standing on the balcony and watching the open water. As far as the eye could see, water sloshing against water, waves crashing at the ship’s edge, open sea changing shape and continually moving.
At one point in the week I thought, my insides feel a little like the ocean sometimes.
Chaotic. Beautiful. Deep. Rushing. Drowning. Raging.
I am passionate (a lovely word for emotional) person. Here I don’t mean cry often. Here I mean deep feeler. Here I mean tend to be driven and ignited by feelings. Here I mean experience life deeply. Here I mean even struggle to not bear the weight of someone else’s burden when it’s not mine to carry.
I once heard someone talking about Jesus, commenting on his fully man-ness yet fully God-ness.
Jesus experienced the complete weight of human emotion without sinning because He never let any emotion separate Him from His Father.
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane…
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:32-36 (emphasis mine)
Soul overwhelmed with the deepest sorrow imaginable, yet processing with Father.
Jesus modeled perfect trust. He modeled real vulnerability in life’s circumstances, yet felt it with(in) his Father’s heart.
This inspires me to believe that my heart, emotional and passionate and messy and flawed as it may be, is important. If I look at Jesus, I see his heart fully feeling, but in the Presence of His Father. And I can do the same! (Wait, what?! Yes.)