“Have you ever wondered what caterpillars think about?”
This was a question Frances Chan posed to his wife. When she unsurprisingly said um, no, he told her about the confusion he imagined a caterpillar must experience. Crawling around in the dirt, up and down a few plants eating them & maddening the container gardener who lovingly nurtured, watered and waited for them to produce their delicious bounty….oops, let my thoughts wander off track there a minute…..anyway, Chan wondered what must go through its head when it wakes up from a nap and discovers it can fly with its new, gorgeous wings!
“As believers, we ought to experience this same kind of astonishment when the Holy Spirit enters our bodies. We should be stunned in disbelief over becoming a “new creation” with the Spirit living in us. As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully.”
Isn’t that how you feel? Isn’t that how you live? Uh…well, not on a consistent basis.
Chan in Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit explains that Jesus told the disciples that “another Counselor” was coming (John 14:16) and that it was to their advantage that He leave so the Counselor can come. In this case, the Greek word for another means another that is JUST LIKE THE FIRST.
“Imagine what it would be like to have Christ standing beside you in the flesh, functioning as your personal Counselor. Imagine the peace that would come from knowing you would always receive perfect truth and flawless direction from Him…..Yet why do we assume that this would be any better than the literal presence of the Holy Spirit? Those of us who believe in Jesus would never deny the truth that we have the Spirit of the living God, the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, living inside of us. I’m just not convinced we’ve internalized this truth and enjoyed His blessing as He intends. It seems like this is mostly head knowledge to us, and that we have not owned it. It has not really made much of a difference in our lives, to the degree that if we woke up tomorrow and discovered that it is not true the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, mostly likely our lives wouldn’t look much different.”
Chan challenges us to have more than a head knowledge of the Spirit. To live a life that looks very different than the lives of those who do NOT have the Holy Spirit of God living in them. To be different today from what we were yesterday as the fruit of the Spirit becomes more manifest in us.
“Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true. I don’t want to keep crawling when I have the ability to fly.”
This past Sunday was Pentecost.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4
What a visual. Tongues of fire that rested on them. Why fire? Fire is a symbol of the presence of God. And what happened after this? Let’s read Acts 2:41 and 2:47
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day……..47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Our fellow blogger Pastor Chris Jordan in his book Supernatural (you can contact him for more information. I’m alternating between reading his and Chan’s) says “God’s plan is to create a force that will take the planet by storm with the Spirit’s fire. It’s time to get ignited with the power of the Holy Spirit. We need more fire in the church. But we need to get the fire before can give the fire to others.” And “There is one thing we need to realize if we want to be world shakers and history makers; it’s not by might, it’s not by power, but it’s by the Spirit of the Lord. When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, He supernaturally enables us to do something that would be impossible for us to do in the natural.”
The Holy Spirit is a GIFT to us. The early believers had to WAIT for that GIFT. We don’t. We have already received our GIFT that we just need to unwrap.
As usual…..stay tuned for more on the Holy Spirit Series as I read & learn.
- The Gift of the Holy Spirit (beginningtopray.blogspot.com)
- Do you know the proper name of the Holy Spirit? (Saint Augustine & St Thomas Aquinas) (cantuar.blogspot.com)