The Wondrous Spirit (3)
March 19, 2021
This might be the final week in which we examine how the Holy Spirit helps us pray for and minister among Muslims. But who knows? It is impossible to put limits on the Spirit!
Or is it? Many of us brought up with a Western worldview minimize or marginalize the supernatural – even when we are brought up in the church. (Think of church business meetings devoid of the presence of the Spirit, or efficient routines supplanting inspiration.) Actually, the Holy Spirit is so amazingly wondrous that our finite minds limit Him to us as much as do our heart attitudes or our unbelief. Yet God, who “has set eternity in the human heart”, also says through Paul, “…whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (Ecc 3:11, 1 Co 6:17).
Wow, it takes a lot of faith to embrace that truth in its fullness! This must be why Paul says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father… that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph 3:14-19).
Here is a peek at some of God’s fullness as proclaimed and displayed by Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor” (Lk 4:18-19). We know “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). And “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God” (1 Co 6:19a)? Can we expect to see God’s fullness proclaimed and displayed in us? Why not? We are not Jesus, but we have “His very great and precious promises, so that through them [we] may participate in the divine nature…” (2 Pe 1:4).
Has our faith become humdrum as we live it out day after day? How could that even be possible, considering we have been born of, united with, strengthened by, anointed by and filled with the wondrous Spirit?
God, we repent for limiting Your Spirit through unbelief, ignorance or apathy. Please forgive us! “[We] do believe. Help [us] overcome our unbelief (Mk 9:24)!
Jesus, You said, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mk 10:15). Restore our childlike wonder and delight at the blessings that are ours through the Holy Spirit, to the extent that others see us as temples of Your Spirit.
The god of Islam is aloof and distant, holding humans in disdain. He sent down a book, supposedly a copy of the original in heaven. But Yahweh sent Himself, first as His Son to dwell among us, then as His Spirit to dwell within us. Who can comprehend His goodness?
God, You and Your ways are far beyond what we can think or imagine. Help us remember when we first encountered Your majesty. It was Your Spirit that opened our hearts to receive You. Send Your Spirit now across the Muslim world to those You are longing to have relationship with. They’re so dry and thirsty – let them taste Your living water. We call them to repent, believe the Good News and enter the Kingdom of God by water and the Spirit (Mk 1:15, Jn 3:5)!
“May the God of hope fill [us] with all joy and peace as [we] trust in Him, so that [we] may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Ro 15:13).