GodReflection: Does God Care Specifically About Me?
My acquaintance with the Holy Spirit is a process. Like the metamorphic change of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly I have a profound desire for the resident Spirit to work its transformative power to help me move from acquaintance to a close relationship.
An almost forgotten voice in my family church linage is that of Kentuckian Barton W. Stone (1772-1844). In his sermon “The Four Unities,” his fourth unity which he identifies as “fire unity” where he affirmed that the Spirit’s residence in the hearts of believers is what unites the body of Jesus—the church.
I am united and with Jesus and all believers through His Spirit that took up residence in my body and soul when I submitted to God through His Son.
With the apostle Peter’s revelation and instruction “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Jesus shares His Spirit with all submissive humans.
Another apostle, Paul, wants me to join with Timothy his protégé to “guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
Do I have to understand the reality of the Spirit within for me to trust its reality?
When I think of Christ followers of the first three centuries I am reminded that their walk with Jesus took place without the advantage of a Bible with sixty-six books and letters. Truth is, until recent times a majority of the Christian world walks an identical path.
I suspect those early believers were hard-wired to the daily present Holy Spirit far beyond what I can possibly imagine. Their discernment antenna probably tuned into the Spirit more readily than mine does.
In stark contrast, I have 24/7 access to Holy Scripture through King James, the American Standard Version, the RSV, NIV, the ESV, and a gazillion other translations to aid my walk.
Around-the-clock, podcasts, sermons, websites, and Christian writers flood my brain. I suspect the Spirit sifts and chooses through all of that input to provide me with daily guidance.
However, with all my advantages could it be that I fail to see through it all to appreciate as I should the Spirit’s action within?
I would like to think that my Spirit discernment is on the upswing as my path wines toward the sunset. There times when I see His presence with greater clarity. But, through it all I plant my eighth brick on the witness of the aged apostle John.
Most likely in his nineties, after walking Jerusalem’s street and country sides with Jesus; after observation of death, burial and resurrection; after persecution and a lifetime of perseverance; after daily acquaintance with the post ascension presence of Jesus’ spirit within his own body; old John writes:
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4: 13-16).
Through a lifetime I’ve seen enough intermittent signs of the Holy Spirit to trust His presence as an indwelt guide. I know He is there even when I miss His sign posts.
So here is brick number eight of twelve: He shares with me His Spirit.
Like the previous seven, I lay this brick to help me become less of an “earthoholic” and more addicted to the Holy as I seek God’s reassurance that He cares specifically about me.
Don’t you suspect we would all be more successful at life were we to acknowledge Holy Spirit presence and accept His assistance?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: He Shares With Me His Spirit