Of Mice, Men, Peppermint Oil and Malls

I don’t do the “mall thing” very often. I can count on one hand the times I’ve been to a mall in the past couple of years. However, today I found myself having need of some peppermint oil, and I figured the mall would be the surest place to find some. I live out in the country, and from time to time a mouse will find his way into my home. According to my internet research, peppermint oil strategically placed in the house can serve to deter “unwelcome visitors.” So, it was off to the mall.

 Once at the mall, I simply couldn’t resist a trip to the food court. I completely justified my actions with, “Well, I’ve been doing good for nine months, I’m at the mall, what harm can a sandwich and some fries really do at this point? I’ll run it off tomorrow…blah, blah, blah.” Anyhow, as I sat at the table surrounded by hundreds of others, I felt my eyes began to burn and tears welled up. Children were riding the carousel, music and videos blared out of TVs hung high up on the walls, and the whole atmosphere was kind of like a carnival. I thought how strange I must look, sitting there eating, crying, and looking around like some kind of weirdo who just discovered that there was such a thing as malls. But I couldn’t stop.

I decided to walk a bit, and as I did; I passed a man sitting on one of the benches. He reminded me of a figure out of the old west, weathered and square-jawed. There seemed to be an inner strength within him, but what really struck me was the sadness in his eyes. We made eye contact, I gave the cordial head-nod, but he would barely look at me. I wondered what made him so sad, and felt as if I should stop and say something, but I didn’t. As families walked by laughing, and lovers lazily strolled, holding hands, oblivious to everyone else; I considered the sad “cowboy,” and my heart broke within me.

As we occupy ourselves with playing church and going about the business of religion, we have become no better than shopping malls. We do what we can to attract the people into our little “shop.” We do the coolest worship songs, have the hippest preachers, and know all the latest religious catch-phrases. And hey, if you don’t find what you need in here; there’s another shop just around the corner that may have what you’re looking for. Sadly, while we’re trying to be relevant and hold onto our little corner of the “church mall,” people are sitting right outside our doors, broken-hearted, without hope, and in need of Jesus.

Today, thinking of mice and men, peppermint oil and malls, my prayer is that we who call ourselves Christians will be done with our shopping mall mentality, come out of the carnival we call church and take Jesus to the world around us.

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With This Ring (conclusion): The Holy Spirit as our “Arrabon”

(In the final installment of this series, we take a closer look at the “engagement ring” the Church has been given in the person of the Holy Spirit.)

It is important to keep in mind that until the time of Christ, the Jews had only known the Holy Spirit as an impersonal, invading force. He was seen as the mysterious power of God who, at times would come upon an individual in order to equip them for a specific purpose during a limited amount of time. The Jews looked upon the Holy Spirit as the mysterious ruach, the breath and wind of God. He was, to Jew, the active power of the Lord God.[1] The Jews knew that there would come a day in which the Lord God would “sprinkle them with clean water, and put his Spirit within them” (Ezekiel 36), but they had no conception as to the intimacy this indwelling Spirit would represent. But now, Messiah had come, the spirit-man had been revealed as the unique dispenser of the very Spirit of God; and, the Holy Spirit would no longer be seen as the raw, naked power of God, he would be forever clothed with the personality and character of Jesus.[2]

Paul had now come, having received the revelation that this Holy Spirit was the “other” Comforter and Teacher that Messiah had promised, and he is given to those who believe, Jew and Gentile alike, as an arrabon, assuring them that God would indeed be faithful to bring about a complete consummation of all he had promised. Because of this arrabon the very love of God had now been “shed abroad” in their hearts; they had received the Spirit of adoption which created within them a desire to cry out, “Abba.” This same Spirit would bear witness within their own hearts that they were indeed children of God. The Spirit, who had been given to them as an arrabon, would comfort them and teach them, his presence within them providing assurance as to the complete redemption “of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.”

The Spirit has been given as a pledge or deposit guaranteeing the full realization of God’s redemptive purposes. One could say, in light of what has been discussed in the writing at hand, that the church has been given a wonderful engagement ring by her Lord. For our purposes let us imagine that this ringis a magnificent four carat arrabon and that each carat represents four different aspects of the arrabon in relation to the believer.

The first carat represents the adoptive aspect of the arrabon. Although it was uncommon for Jews to practice such adoption, it was nevertheless common for the emperors of that period to adopt from outside their immediate family and acquire a successor in this way. Our arrabon accomplishes and provides to the believer sonship and all the advantages that go along with it.

The second carat is complete assurance that the believer does indeed belong to Christ. This carat speaks of belonging and provides evidence to the believer and those on the outside that he is the property of God; and as the arrabon proves the reality of the relationship of the recipient to the giver of the arrabon at the present, it proves that the relationship will be consummated in the future.

The third is an aspect of “first fruits”. Christ has risen from the dead and the believer has promise that he himself will share in this glorious resurrection in which mortality is swallowed up by immortality.

Finally, the arrabon is assurance itself. The Holy Spirit is in the believer and he speaks of Christ with absolute assurance and conviction. This assurance is beyond mere intellectual affirmation; instead, the arrabon is an absolute convincing experience, alive within the believer.[3]

The New Testament refers to the church as the bride of Christ; and, her beloved has provided her with the most glorious arrabon ever to be received. As she waits for her husband to return and receive her unto himself, as the wedding day is delayed and times become dark and discouraging, she has only to look upon the arrabon to be assured of his love and faithfulness; and, the cry of her heart becomes, “The Spirit and the bride say come.”

           

 


 1. Michael Green, I Believe in the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004), 20-36.

2. Ibid., 50.

 3. Ibid.,100-102.

With This Ring: The Holy Spirit as our “Arrabon”

(A while back, I wrote a paper on Paul’s referring to the Holy Spirit as our Arrabon. Arra-what? Well, I’m glad you asked! I believe if you’ll take the time to read the next few “With This Ring: The Holy Spirit as our Arrabon” posts, you will gain new perspective as to the wonderful gift God has given to us in the Holy Spirit.)

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit, to be sure, is one that cannot be made to fit within a nicely packaged theological box. Volumes have been written in efforts to explain and comprehend the workings of the third “person” of the Trinity, and yet we find that even the Bible itself does not present us with a systematized outline concerning the Spirit; but rather teaches us about the Spirit through symbols and stories, concentrating more upon the work of the Spirit than anything else.[1] However, the Apostle Paul does give us a distinctively clear insight into one aspect of the Spirit’s work within the believer when in two of his epistles, he refers to the Holy Spirit as a pledge or arrabon, which God has given to the believer.  It is to this concept of the Spirit as the arrabon that we shall devote the content of this manuscript.

The usage of the word arrabon within the New Testament is distinctively Pauline,“…and it was a favorite of his because he uses it three times, always in the same connection. In II Cor. 1.22 he says that God has given us the arrabon of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. In II Cor. 5.5 he again talks about the arrabon of the Holy Spirit. And in Ephesians 1:14 he speaks about the Holy Spirit being the arrabon of our inheritance.”[2]  Arrabon, within the context of the aforementioned scriptures, seems to contain within it not only an aspect of the Spirit as the believer relates to him presently, but also an eschatological relevance as well. This arrabon is now a present reality, but his presence is indicative of the fact that there is more to come. There is a now, but not yet element in the word arrabon, and the propensity Paul had towards using the term peaks curiosity and incites a desire to further explore its connotations. However, before the theological implications of arrabon are explored, an excursion into its more practical aspects must be made.

Paul taught that he was teaching doctrine that had previously been hidden, and had been given to him by Jesus, through revelation( I Cor.2:7; I Cor. 11:23;Gal. 1:12). So, it behooves the sincere student of the Bible to carefully consider why Paul would use such a word as arrabon to describe the Holy Spirit. To understand the Apostle Paul’s affinity for the word arrabon, the etymology of the word must surely be considered, and the relevance which the term held for those who lived during the time of the apostle must also be comprehended.

According to James Wareing Bardsley ,

…arrabon, is doubtless of Phoenician origin. It originally signified the pledge or pawn which gave security to contract…As the Phoenicians had trading transactions with almost every part of the Mediterranean Sea, the word “arrabon”  became one of universal acceptance, just as the word “tariff,” derived from the Spanish traders, is found in almost every modern language. When the Greeks, however, adopted the term, they gave it a distinct and technical meaning. It was   not merely a pledge or security, it was something more; it signified the deposit  paid by a purchaser on entering into a contract for the purchase of anything.[3]

Raymond F. Collins shares Bardsley’s convictions that arrabon is a term taken “from the economic sphere, the world of financial transactions… [and] most likely of Phoenician origin;”[4]  Geoffrey Bromiley also concurs that “…arrabon is a commercial loanword from the Semitic [Phoenicia is included in this grouping] signifying “pledge” or “deposit”.[5]  In his book, Ephesians, Ernest Best lends his affirmation in attesting to the fact that the word arrabon “is a legal and commercial term of Semitic origin adopted into Greek which commits both giver and recipient to the completion of a deal under penalty. Yet the earnest is not just a pledge or guarantee that something will be given later; it is itself a partial gift…”[6] Among scholars, it seems to be the view of the majority that arrabon is Semitic in origin and its usage always contains some sort of commercial quality. Further citations could indeed be provided as to the origin of the word arrabon; but due to the brevity of this paper it is this writer’s hope that the reader has been given sufficient evidence as to verify arrabon’s etymology. But, is there documentation available that would indicate the colloquialism of arrabon during the time of Paul? Let us now turn our attention towards the manner in which arrabon was used in the vernacular of the first century.

To be continued…


            1.  Veli- Matti Karkkainen, Pneumatology, (Grand Rapids, MI – Baker Academic, 2002), 23.

2. William Barklay, New Testament Words, (Louisville, Kentucky- John Knox Press, 2000), 58.

                3. James Wareing Bardsley, Illustrative Texts and Texts Illustrated, (London, James Nisbet & CO., 1873), 223,224.

4. Raymond F. Collins, The Power of Images in Paul, (Minnesota, Liturgical Press, 2008), 153.

5. Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume 1, (Grand rapids, Michigan, William B. Erdmans Publishing Company, 1985), 80.

                6. Ernest Best, Ephesians, (New York, T&T Clark International, 1998), 151.

Show & Tell

Maybe it is especially so here in America, but so often, when talking to others about what they believe God has called them to; it is usually something grandiose. Perhaps it is our culture, but it seems we all have illusions of grandeur, some type of ministry involving a large international stage, CD’s, fortune and fame- all for Jesus of course. Yet when Paul was writing what were among his last words to Timothy, he simply told him, “… and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)

In a success driven culture in which even the church has adopted the “if it aint big it aint God” mentality, it would seem that we have forgotten that perhaps the greatest thing we can hope to do is to simply teach others what it means to follow Jesus. You know, Timothy was Paul’s protégée, and you would think as the “heir apparent” he was being groomed to be the next big thing. But, when you read the letters Paul wrote to young Timothy, you find that over and over again, his resounding admonition to Timothy was, “Just teach them the truth!” (Oh, there’s also the bit about enduring hardship and suffering as well.) Sadly, we spend so much time dreaming of that “big ministry” God has called us to that we neglect teaching the people we spend time with each week what it means to truly walk with the Lord. We tell the Lord, “Give me nations!” And he asks, “What about the people I’ve already given you? Will you make them my disciples?”

Here’s the deal: Abide in Jesus, learn what it means to walk with him, and then; teach others what you’ve learned.

“A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them.”

Not Tonight Lord; I Have a Headache

We have been making excuses ever since Adam & Eve blamed the devil and each other when they rebelled against God. Even after we come to Jesus, we have plenty of excuses why we don’t move closer to Him in intimacy. Our culture has made famous the adages, “Not tonight dear; I have a headache” and “I’m sorry darling; I’m just really tired,” but did you know there is something similar to this kind of thing in the Bible? Check out the following passage:

“I slept, but my heart was awake,
when I heard my lover knocking and calling:
‘Open to me, my treasure, my darling,
my dove, my perfect one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.’”

“But I responded,
‘I have taken off my robe.
Should I get dressed again?
I have washed my feet.
Should I get them soiled?’” (Song of Solomon 5:2, 3 NLT)

Reading this passage makes me think of the many times I hear the Lord speaking to my heart and drawing me near, inviting me to spend time in communion with him, but I offer a weak excuse, and turn to follow my own desire. I don’t know about you, but I’m so messed up that I’ll use even “good” things as an excuse to not spend that intimate time with the Lord like, “Well Lord, I need to prepare this sermon” or “Lord, I really need to study” or “Lord, I’ll catch you later; brother so and so needs my help.” There are countless others, but these are the first that come to mind. Well, these things are good things, but I hear Jesus saying, “That can wait; come to ME.”

We do the same things in our churches. Jesus makes an invitation for us to come closer and go deeper, but that would mean having to get a little “dirty” and we’ve already “taken off our robes and washed our feet.”

We say, “Lord, we’re all good here. Things are going just fine; I’m not sure how the congregation would respond to what you’re asking here. We’re not really comfortable with emotional displays, and God forbid if someone were to speak in tongues or shout hallelujah or something like that.”

In our hearts we know that the Spirit is speaking to us about how HE wants us to “do church,” but we are content with business as usual, and decide on hiring consultants and demographers to tell us how to grow instead of opening up to Jesus and allowing him to simply have his way.

Sadly, we as individuals and churches run the risk of ending up like the bride in our passage above. Later on, in the same section we read,

“My lover tried to unlatch the door,
and my heart thrilled within me.
I jumped up to open the door for my love,
and my hands dripped with perfume.
My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh
as I pulled back the bolt.
I opened to my lover,
but he was gone!
My heart sank.
I searched for him
but could not find him anywhere.
I called to him,
but there was no reply.”

After giving her excuse as to why she could not open up to her lover, she was moved and thought the better of it; however, the groom had gone. Let’s pray that God will give us grace to respond to his wooing with an immediate, “Lord, have your way with me.”

Selfless

Selfless

Every move You made was in surrender, every word You said

Was in love showing us the heart of the Father

Everyone You healed was with compassion and the life

You lived and gave was the selfless life of a servant

**

Jesus, lately I’ve been thinking

That I spend way too much time thinking about me

I can hear your Spirit call for me to take up my cross and deny myself

And to lay down my life and follow You

**

 Every where I look all around me, everywhere I hear

The cries of those in need of the heart of the Father

Needing to be healed with compassion, needing to be filled

With the selfless life of the One who came as a servant

**

 Jesus, lately I’ve been thinking

That I spend way too much time thinking about me

I can hear your Spirit call for me to take up my cross and deny myself

And to lay down my life and follow you

**

There are people You place in my life torn and broken up inside

They need to hear about You Lord, about Your cross, about Your blood

But I just pass them by and leave them lying there dying and bleeding

Still I go to church each week and I’ve somehow made it all about me

Yeah, I sound so sincere when I pray, “Lord, draw me near”

And I sing for joy all the while Your Spirit is grieving

**

  Jesus, lately I’ve been thinking

That I spend way too much time thinking about me

I can hear your Spirit call for me to take up my cross and deny myself

And to lay down my life and follow you

( “Selfless” Copyright © 2011 B.Kyle Fuller)

“What You Pray I Pray. What You Say I say.”

We’ve been talking about prayer lately. We’ve asked ourselves the question, “Why should I pray?” We’ve discussed the fact that when we pray we should keep in mind that we are praying to a holy God. Now, I’d like to look at how we know what we are to pray.

“And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word [emphasis mine].” (I Kings 17:1)

” Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!” (James 5:17)

When we first meet the prophet Elijah, he kind of pops up on the scene and announces that it won’t rain unless he says so. That’s definitely a bold statement to make. What catches my attention even more than the claim that it won’t rain is the statement he makes, “…except at my word.” What gave Elijah the confidence (maybe audacity is a better word to use) to make such a claim? I think reading James’ commentary on the deal gives us a little more clarity. James said Elijah prayed earnestly (lit., “prayed with prayers”) that it wouldn’t rain.

Elijah said that he stood before the Lord. In other words, he served the Lord continually. He was a man who spent time with God, developing an intimate relationship with Him. As he “stood” before the Lord, the word of the Lord came to him, and that let him know how he should pray. James lets us know that this wasn’t just a casual offering up of a prayer or two, but earnest, continual prayer regarding what the Lord had spoken. Elijah was so “in tune” with the Lord, knowing His heart so well, praying only that which God had spoken to Him, that he was able to say, “It won’t rain unless I say so.” He knew what to pray (and say) because it was the very word of the Lord that had birthed the prayers  in him!

You can see another example of this kind of thing in Daniel 9. The Bible says that while Daniel was reading the writings of Jeremiah, he understood that the period of Israel’s desolation was complete, and this understanding moved him into a time of prayer and fasting. What Daniel read in Jeremiah provided the framework for his prayers.

How do we know what to pray? I think in light of what we’ve looked at today, we can confidently say that the Lord desires to birth His prayers within us through an abiding relationship with Him, and as we hear Him speak, we understand His heart and know what to pray.

The Way of the Cross

I think if you look at the way in which Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness you’ll find that perhaps his primary objective was to circumvent the cross. As I have thought about this, and considered the current climate in the Church today, I believe that the body of Christ is being tempted in much the same way: There are other ways than the “way of the cross” to achieve God’s purposes.

Jesus  had come, assuming the brokenness of his creation, and this meant going to Jerusalem, and dying on a cross (Matt. 16:21, 20:18; Mark 10:33; Luke 18:31).  After being baptized by John, the Bible tells us that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, and that the Devil tempted him. Jesus had been fasting in this barren place, he was hungry and tired, and it was at this point (and probably all during the 40 days) that the Tempter confronted him.

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” The Devil is telling the Church the same things today. The Tempter comes and says to the body of Christ, “Look guys if you really are the Church, if you really have his Spirit and are full of God’s power, use it to meet your needs. Hey, you’ve got needs and rights, the Lord wouldn’t want you to suffer. Use that faith of yours to manifest what you need to sustain you. It’ll increase your faith when you see your needs met. After all, you’re no good to any one else if you don’t survive.”

The enemy knows that like Jesus we are to be submitted to the purposes and the will of God. Like Christ, we are to willingly lay down our rights, denying ourselves, existing off of the very “bread” that comes from having heard God speak. Satan knew that if he could get Jesus to give in at this point he was one step closer in diverting him from the cross. And the Tempter seeks to do the same thing to us.

“Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,

   ‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”

“Jesus,” the Devil was saying, “the cross can be avoided altogether with one big miracle; just show them who you are.” We are offered the same alternative today. The Enemy comes and says, “Hey, this cross business is going to be really painful and messy. There’s no need for you to suffer like that. What better way to get people to see than a miracle! They’ll believe, and you don’t have to suffer! Let’s concentrate on miracles, spiritual gifts, and stuff like that. Ah, think about it. A ‘bull’s-eye’ word of prophecy would blow their minds. They’d have to believe.

Here again we see the enemy offering an alternative to the way of the cross.  The Church is being tempted to bypass the way of the cross for the miraculous.

“Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. ‘I will give it all to you,’ he said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’”

Here we see the devil again tempting the Lord to bypass the way of the cross. He tells Jesus that he’ll give him all the nations if Jesus will simply worship him. “Look Jesus, if it’s nations you want, I can give them to you. There doesn’t need to be a cross, just do it my way, and they are yours.” We learn in scripture that Satan’s way is primarily the flesh way. When Peter told Jesus that he (Jesus) should not have to suffer and die, Jesus responded, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” See, Jesus knew his was the way of the cross, and this way is always contrary to what man or Satan would pursue. I think the Church is tempted (regarding the nations) in much the same way today.

The Devil comes and whispers, “Listen Church, no need for this cross business, take the nations by influence and power. Take over the political arena, get the right laws passed, infiltrate the culture, and I’m out of business.”

We are called, as followers of Jesus, to the way of the cross. It is in our weakness that the strength of God is made manifest. As we lay down our lives, take up our cross, and follow him, the life of Jesus and power of God will be made known. Are we to do justice, feed the poor, clothe the naked, and disciple the nations? You betcha! But, these things are the result of the way of the cross, not a substitute for it. Remember when Jesus fed the 5,000? Did it make everyone a believer? Did they all repent and follow him? No, they tried to take him by force and make him king. What did Jesus do? He left, and then later rebuked them for not truly wanting him. They were only seeking to use him. Jesus had his face set towards Jerusalem and the cross.

The Apostle Paul knew that the way of the cross was the way to really touch people for Jesus. He told the Corinthians that true ministers are “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.” (II Cor. 4:10-12)  Friends if we are ever to truly know the power of Jesus’ resurrection we must first be conformed to the image of his death. This is the way of the cross, and the means by which we are to make disciples.

Let Us Pray: Why?

Why must I pray? How am I supposed to pray? How do I know if  I’m praying the will of God? These are just a few of the questions about prayer that most of us ask. While I would not even begin to claim that I understand everything about prayer, I would like to share some thoughts on the subject. So, please join me as we  see what we can learn about this thing called prayer.

The first thing about prayer that stands out to me is the fact that when we pray, we are intentionally placing ourselves in a position to encounter God. We read in the Bible things about seeking the Lord, waiting on God, crying out to the Lord, and coming into his presence, well what does all of that mean? How do you do that? It’s in prayer. We cant (at this point) physically come into the presence of God. I can’t physically “enter his gates.”  Prayer is the way I come to the Lord. Prayer is how I encounter the presence of the living God. (I understand about community & the Body, but we’re just talking about prayer right now.) I can  come and talk to God, and what’s more, I can hear him speak to me. (Yeah, I said it.)  No wonder we meet so much opposition when we endeavor to develop our prayer life.  Through prayer I am communing with the living God. Why must I pray? I should think the answer is pretty obvious! In prayer, I’m meeting with God and he has the tendency to “rub off” on you. (And to rub stuff off of you as well!) It has been said that demons get alarmed when a Christian begins to read the Bible, but they TREMBLE when Christians begin to pray.

I heard pastor Dennis Hall once say that “how much we depend on God is a gauge of sorts as to a Christian’s maturity.” The mature disciple is one that depends upon God and prayer is perhaps the ultimate sign of this dependence. “But I thought that the more one matures the more independent he becomes.” Isn’t that what they tell us? Once again we need to be reminded that God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. We seek a spiritual maturity that only comes through surrender and dependence on God. Our heart before the new birth cries out for independence and maturity according to the flesh, but the heart of the disciple relates maturity to his relationship with God. Let me ask you this, when Jesus said, “I do nothing of myself. I only do and say what I see and hear from the Father,” how do you suppose he saw and heard those things? You already know the answer-prayer, communing with the Father. What an example he gave us to follow!

Simply put, when we pray, we are meeting with God. We can’t really meet with him and not come away changed.

To be continued…

Power!!

Jesus said that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit indwells us, and that we would be his witnesses. I began to think of this verse in a little different way the other day. Normally, maybe it’s just me, but; when I think of that verse (Acts 1:8), I think of the miracles the Apostles did in the book of Acts. Maybe I’m just a product of the times in that so much is preached now a days concerning how we are to be doing the miraculous, walking in the prophetic, conquering this, and subduing that. Don’t get me wrong; I understand, for the most part, what folks are trying to say. Lately though, I’ve been thinking of “witness power” a little differently.

As we walk in the Spirit, as Jesus is saving us, healing us and giving us his love, as we experience the love and forgiveness of God and the powers of the age to come; it is truly mind blowing! How do you adequately describe the holiness of God, the unconditional love, the peace of God, the way he can take the mess I’ve made of my life and turn it into something that will glorify his wonderful name? You’ve got to have the power of the Spirit! Paul told the Corinthians that  “we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. (I Corinthians 2:13)

I can’t even begin to describe the awesomeness of God without the power of his precious Spirit. As we walk with him, as we come together in holy fellowship, as we wait on him, as we minister to him in those “secret times” of loving intimacy, prayerfully seeking his face, meditating on his words; it is in those quiet places of surrender, being filled freshly with his Spirit  that we are equipped to show forth his glory.

My prayer today is, “Lord, fill me with your Spirit that I may have the ability to put into words just how awesome you really are!”