That was my response to this section in Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. This is me. I feel like I’ve been wrestling with the Lord, just as Jacob did, for a while now. If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ll probably recognize this theme.
Again, I will be quoting large passages verbatim from the book. Wonder if it will affect any of you the way it did me.
Do I Even Want This?
The flip side of fearing that God won’t show up is fearing HE WILL. What if God does show up but then asks you to go somewhere or do something that’s uncomfortable? For many people, fearing that God will ask them to go in a difficult, undesirable direction outweighs the fear that God will ignore them….
…When it comes down to it, many of us do not really want to be led by the Holy Spirit. Or, more fundamentally, many of us don’t want to be led by anyone other than ourselves. The whole idea of giving up control (or the delusion of it) is terrifying, isn’t it? Do you thrive on controlling the big and small in your life? Does the thought of letting go and listening to the Spirit’s guidance scare you and only make you cling tighter to what you think you have?
The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want to choose to do. The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He left Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be.
The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be. (Made to be: actually it’s what started this whole blog. Interestingly, I really didn’t know the direction this all would take) This often incredibly painful process strips you of selfishness, pride, and fear. For a powerful example of this, read in C.S. Lewis’s book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader about the boy, Eustace, who becomes a dragon. In order to become a little boy again, he must undergo a tremendous amount of pain as the dragon skin is peeled away and torn from him. Only after he endures this painful process is he truly transformed from a dragon back into a boy. Me again. This was completely separate from the comments about The Chronicles of Narnia quotes in my You Don’t Trust Me post. There have been a lot of GC’s about C.S. Lewis lately. You know what that means…..
Sometimes the sin we take on becomes such a part of us that it requires this same kind of ripping and tearing to free us. The Holy Spirit does not seek to hurt us, but He does seek to make us Christlike, and this can be painful.
So, if you say you want the Holy Spirit, you must first honestly ask yourself if you want to do His Will. Because if you do not genuinely want to do know and do His Will, why should you ask for His Presence at all? But if you decide you do want to know His Will, there will be moments when you have to let go of the fear of what that might mean – when you have to release your grip of control on your life and decide to be led, come what may.
And that’s not easy, is it? Guess that’s why I’m still wrestling with Him. Sometimes I really wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. Seriously.
I love praise songs. How wonderful to sing about who He is and praise Him. But I sometimes feel like a hypocrite when I sing certain worship songs. Some words I do NOT really want to sing….You know the ones I’m talking about:
- “I would go to the ends of the earth.”
- “Have Your way in me, Lord.”
- “Take my life, transform it.”
- “Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.”
- “My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord”
I WANT the words to be my heart. I WANT to be that kind of follower. But I doubt that I am….that I would be…..that I could be….do I REALLY WANT that? Well, of course – if it just happens, if it’s safe, if it’s easy. It all sounds great but think about what those words REALLY say. I’ve been realizing for a while that there is a COST attached. How much am I willing to pay? How much do I want this? I’m TRYING to trust and have faith. I’m TRYING to release my grip. But honestly, I’m afraid of the cost.