Have you ever felt like God was leading you to a place you didn’t really want to go?
This has been my experience lately. God has clearly assigned me to a place that is uncomfortable. It’s a place I would not have chosen to go. In fact it is a place that brings up the pain of the past. Nearly 3 years ago now, I walked through the tragic death of someone I love very much; a precious little boy named Sawyer. This was the most painful time of my life. I wouldn’t wish it on the devil.
Here I find myself in Hillsong Bible College, contending for the call of God on my life. Almost immediately, I am made aware of one open spot in Treasure Chest, the special needs ministry. God clearly moved me to volunteer for this place. If I am being honest it has not been easy because this reminds me of Sawyer, who had autism. Why would God do this? Why would God send me to a place that is uniquely designed to expose old wounds? And I thought those wounds were healed!
Have you ever been in this place? Where God opens up something you have tried to put behind you? Why must we serve others when it’s hard? Why must we go to a place where we don’t have strength to go? Remember: God is never interested in our comfort. He is interested in salvation. He wants to heal all of us . We must learn to rely on His Grace for the day. In Ephesians chapter 5 verse 18, Paul admonishes the Church not to get drunk on wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Why does Paul juxtapose those two seemingly contradicting aspects of life? I think it is because being drunk and being filled with the Spirit of God operate similarly. Hear me out! If you went out and got drunk tonight (which I don’t recommend since we clearly see it advised against in God’s Word), by Wednesday or Thursday you would be completely back to normal, hangover and all. If you wanted to stay drunk all the time, you would have to really work at it! I mean think of all the considerations it would take, all the choices and consequences it would have in your life to always be drunk.
Living a Spirit filled life as a follower of Jesus, in a sense, is no different. The original Greek text could be translated, “Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.” You must fan the flame of God in your hearts day in and day out. This is one reason why daily devotional reading of the Scriptures and prayer is vital to the follower of Jesus. This is why we must intentionally move toward community with other committed followers of Jesus. We engage and serve in the house of God and the fellow believers. These are means in which for us to open our heart minds and souls to The Holy Spirit and invite Him in.
As we let The Holy Spirit in more and more, He will dwell richly in us. Where the Spirit of The Lord is there is freedom; and He empowers to live the life we are meant for. As the Spirit of God heals us, our past no longer defines us. We are free to serve those in need in ways only we can serve them because of where we have been. Our identity is in God and nothing else. He knows what we need, and loves enough to takes through things we may not want so we can experience the abundant life Jesus came to bring us through the miracle of God’s Grace .