"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Sunday, October 18, 2015

More Like Jesus

When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.  
Then it says, 'I will return to the person I came from.'  
So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order.  
Then the spirit finds even other spirits more evil than itself, 
and they all enter the person and live there."
Matthew 12:43-45
Bill Britton, on his web journal, Richer By Far, quotes Henry Nouwen, "Perhaps the greatest and most hidden illusion of all had been that after seven months of Trappist life I would be a different person, more integrated, more spiritual, more virtuous, more compassionate, more gentle, more joyful, and more understanding."  Nouwen came to realize through this experience and the experiences he had following this experiment that, "I cannot be my own exorcist, and to remind me that, if anything significant takes place in my life, it is not the result of my own 'spiritual' calisthenics but only the manifestation of God's unconditional grace."

This was my experience when in my 20's I finally realized that all my self-improvement attempts were not working.  I'd set a goal for myself to be more loving, more patient, more giving, more "whatever" only to fail time and again.  Then when I was 28 my father gave me a "Living" New Testament.  I'd attempted to read the Bible in the past (and considered myself "saved") but found I did not understand much of what I read.  The Living version was written in modern English and, suddenly, God's Word began to take root in me.  This is when I "discovered" the Holy Spirit!  I read verses that told me I could never be righteousness in and of myself.  It was the Holy Spirit living in me that made me righteous and as long as I did not quench the Spirit, I would exhibit all the traits I'd attempted to be.  Just like the Holy Spirit that Christ received at His baptism enabled Him to do all that He did, we, who believe and receive His Spirit can also receive His strength and power to do and be all that He calls us to be and do.

The only way to have the attributes of the Holy Spirit is to stop quenching Him.  The way to tell we're quenching (grieving) the Spirit is when we've allowed our ego to take over.  The only way to become more and more like Jesus is to humble ourselves.  If we don't, He will find a way to do it for us because He loves us too much to let us stumble beyond His reach.  It's only when we reject the Holy Spirit that we are beyond His reach. 

In the scripture above we are warned that just quitting a bad behavior isn't enough.  We must fill the empty space/time with something good, or we will revert back to the old ways--and worse!  Allowing the Holy Spirit to fill our cleansed hearts to the brim (by not resisting Him) is the only way to guarantee our hearts will remain His alone.

Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit to guide me into all Truth, for His strength, for His power, for the Grace He imparts to me moment by moment.  

Link to scripture:  John 14:10

Take action:    

click on lower right corner to make full screen

No comments:

Post a Comment