Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Striving for Spiritual Intimacy

I've just finished a personal Bible study from Women of Faith called Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy. Before I started reading, I just assumed that it would focus on being more intimate with God.  Although God the Father was mentioned in the study, it was mainly focused on the Holy Spirit.  I was surprised because most of the studies I've done (and most of the sermons I have heard) focus on God the Father or Jesus Christ.  

I was pleasantly moved and blessed by this study.

I think it is so easy to forget about the work of and the relationship with the Holy Spirit.  Sad, but true.

The Holy Spirit is just as much as part of our Christian lives as God and Jesus.  

Job 36:24 reminds us how big God is.

"Behold, God is great and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered."

When we begin our relationship with God (and continue to grow in Him), we trust He is who He says He is.  And this builds our faith in Him.

As in Exodus and Deuteronomy, we know there is no other like Him.

We know that Jesus Christ is God's Son.

As Carson puts it:
When does 100 + 100 = 100?
100% God + 100% Man = 100% Jesus.

We believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. That He was crucified on on cross and died for our sins, so that if we believe in Him, we should have eternal life.

And we believe that Jesus lives in us.

I think often we forget about the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity.

God sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, to be our Helper.  The Spirit is that still small voice that guides us.

So many times, we entertain the thought of behaving in a manner so if that were the moment that Jesus came back, then we would be living right, that He would be pleased with us.  There's nothing wrong with that, but I think the more important thing to consider is this:

The Holy Spirit dwells in us that are saved.  The Spirit (and God and Jesus) already know if we are living right.  Therefore, we should not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

1 Corinthians 6:19  tells us point blank what we are to the Holy Spirit.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

I've read that verse many times.  I just never really did much about it.  However, since doing this study and really focusing on the Holy Spirit, this verse touches my heart deeply, especially in areas that I struggle with: anger/temper and gluttony.  When I stop to think about my body being a temple for the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit really and truly lives in me.....well, it does something to my soul.  It makes me think twice about my reactions when I'm upset.  It makes me think twice about making severe unhealthy food choices.  It just reinforces the fact that God....Jesus....the Holy Spirit....they are here; they are a part of me.  And because of that reinforcement, I want to be caught living right every moment of every day.  I am more aware of how I react to situations. I am more aware of how I spend my time. I am more aware of what and how much I eat.  I am more aware that They are closer than I think.

And in all this....thinking about intimacy in our relationships....we want that.  We want to be so close to people that we know all about them and they know all about us.  That we have a deep connection. That when they day comes to an end, when trials come, those people are here for us.

And that's what we can have with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit.  With any relationship, it takes time and effort. We put those into our earthly relationships. We need to do so even more with our heavenly relationships.  When we live in unity with the Spirit, God gives us the gift of peace, the gift of wisdom, the gift of joy.

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