GodReflection: Life in the Holy Presence
Me and the Holy Spirit got off to a late start on our relationship. The problem was with me and not with him.
After all, with observance of costumes and spooks on Halloween the King James’ “Holy Ghost” wasn’t someone I wanted to meet.
He knew me. However, I received a late introduction to him.
I will return to that thought in a moment.
Recently I came across a verse in 2 Chronicles 16 as the story of Judah’s King Asa unfolded. On a certain occasion God challenged him with a rebuke proceeded by the following statement:
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
The story of God is the story of His availability to humankind—His beloved creation. He still stands ready and active to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Two thousand years ago He sent His Son to walk the earth, to show us in human form how much He loved and cared for us.
As His Son returned to heaven, that Son Jesus promised that the eternal presence in the form of the Holy Spirit would personally indwell all who would come to belief.
Now back to my late introduction.
During the early years of my life preacher types had far too much power. They forgot to tell us they might be wrong. In many cases their personalities were so strong and their presence and presentation was so powerful that few pew sitters questioned their conclusions.
And so I learned that the Holy Spirit resided only in some sort of inspirational manner in Scripture. He made the Bible Holy. So unless I was in the actual process of reading my Bible I was on my own. It never occurred to me that the bodily dwelled Holy Spirit watched over my holiness which I received through Jesus.
As I look back I conclude we human types are rather incapable of a successful walk with Jesus when we attempt to live in his presence under our own steam.
It was during my college years that exploration and learning started to play more of a role in our national fabric. That made it easier for my church tribe to begin to examine former conclusion. As it turns out that process continues.
Our God is a changeless God. The extent of the depth of how I understand God is in constant change as I mature. His eyes still range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Back to my Holy Spirit introduction.
I came to awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence over a lifetime rather than in a big moment one-time encounter.
It came from an initial realization that the gift of the spirit Jesus promised to send to his disciples after his ascension, would be received by all who experienced the death, burial and resurrection with him through baptismal waters.
As Jesus’ salvation act was shared from Jerusalem to Rome those who witnessed the story and wrote it down constantly attributed the progress of its spread as being under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
From Paul I learn that God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Romans 5:5) and that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in me, whom I have received from God so I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19), and it takes the aid of the Holy Spirit living in me to stay true to my commitment to Jesus.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:14
Ok, how can I live my life in the presence of the Holy Spirit? Here is what I think.
I don’t think I can throw away my GPS and expect the Holy Spirit to tell me to turn left, right, or to continue straight ahead. However, I do notice when I live with a heart open for guidance I seem to make better life decisions. Any consistency in good outcomes is most likely not rooted in my own human decision making ability.
Normally, I find that whatever confidence I may have at any given time in Holy Spirit direction comes from a quick rehearsal of past decision experience. It is when I look back that I see his presence and his guidance.
I would love to hear from you as to how you have experienced life with the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Life with The Holy Spirit