A tiger can be kept in captivity but that doesn’t mean it is domesticated. Being ‘tamed’ which is usually done by way of abuse, fear or starvation is what the enemy of our soul desires to do to the Church. However …!
This morning I believe and can see signs of the Church filled and brimming over with the Holy Spirit.
That we might go on being filled to the brim, continually, being completely taken over, letting every aspect of our life being invaded and ultimately possessed by the Holy Spirit without ceasing, ongoing, keeping on, being filled again and again, every single day.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15 v 13
We need hope.
This is a real, tangible, definite, guaranteed hope in Jesus. Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) said this of hope, it “expects the coming of something new. Hope looks toward that which is not yet. Hope reaches out beyond ourselves to a power beyond us. Hope is grounded in the historic Christ-event … and as a dramatic affirmation that there is light on the other side of darkness.” (in Seeds of Hope)
We need joy.
Some people say you can have joy without being happy, but it usually those who are not smiling. Some people say their joy is deep down inside, but what good is a light that doesn’t shine?
Nothing satisfies, renews and re-energises like the joy of the Lord! How can we fight the battles of the Lord if we are downbeat? How can we be a light to the world if we do not shine? How can we set the world on fire if we are cold and dry? We need joy in our hearts. A joyless life is an un-revived life. Am I heartless to talk about joy when the world suffers? No, I have found the church with the most joy is the church that is suffering. I have wept with Christians in many despicable places of the world only to see their smile return because God is with them.
We need peace.
Jesus Christ is peace. Nothing else. No one else. Don’t look to the world. You can gain the whole world and you won’t have peace if you don’t have Jesus. Your friends may want the very best for you. They want you married, they want you to have children, they want you to have a great job, a house, a car, they want you to be happy, to travel, to experience, to be well. They are good friends. But they don’t understand that the best wish they could ever have for you is that you have Jesus Christ. To have Jesus is to have peace.
So, Come, Holy Spirit!