It is perhaps the grandest of all Christian mysteries—how the God of the universe could be in us. God’s Holy Spirit is not rationed out as though He were infinitely divisible. God is one. There are no “parts” to God. The members of the Trinity are “persons” not parts. God is indivisible, irreducible.
God is everywhere and not limited to our spatial understanding. And yet, in some mysterious way we are taught that the Holy Spirit “lives in us” (2Tim 1:14). It doesn’t seem right that the Pure and Holy One should come near us—much less indwell us. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:19). Praise God!
Francis Chan picks up on the analogy of the caterpillar, who, though once a plump little worm, eventually wakes up from a nap to discover he has wings. Chan wrote,
“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 a new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully” (37).
This IS indeed the way it should be. We should be moved to do great things in GOD’s STRENGTH. We should be pressed to go beyond ourselves because we have the Spirit of God helping us. We should be tempted to fly. Instead, we struggle through the legalistic system of works, all the time trying with all OUR strength to get it right. When we fail we blame God, never thinking to rest in God, or to take up the power He has given us.
Having the Holy Spirit does not mean we automatically live a perfect life. Our frail human existence means that we can only imperfectly live and walk in the Spirit. But having the Holy Spirit does mean that as we yield ground to the Spirit we win victories. It means that as we yield ground to the Holy Spirit we are “transformed” and our minds are “renewed” (Rom. 12:2).
This is the truth of who we are. However I may appear to you today, I am NOT who I was yesterday, and will not be the same person tomorrow. This is the Christian life. We should be ever advancing in Godliness (Rom. 8:30). We are to be “transformed” so that one-day we might know the depth of the riches of the wisdom of God’s love and in knowing—love as we are loved.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16).
(I have included a little link to the book and a status bar to the right so you can see my progress.)
Copyright©2010 Hudson Russell Davis