“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)
“A purified and Spirit-controlled imagination is the sacred gift of seeing, the ability to peer beyond the veil. And gaze with astonished wonder upon the beauties and mysteries of things holy and eternal. – A. W. Tozer, Born After Midnight, page 92.
We all need illumination from the Holy Spirit to understand the deep truths of God’s Word. Christian spirituality is lived out through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, many of the Christians I’ve talked with over the years have had very little understanding of what it means to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. God created us with the capacity to communicate with him, Spirit to spirit. Our imaginations were meant to be God centered – and focused on things above, so that our thought life remains pure. When our minds are “thinking on things above” we tend to talk with God more.
Taking up our crosses to follow Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean selling everything we own and moving to a foreign land, to serve on the mission field. Taking up the cross requires a God – filled imagination. Those who start out believing, and ‘fall away’ from the faith, usually have never experienced the reality of God’s Presence. While various Evangelical groups have focused on knowledge of the Bible (which is good) we’ve often failed to teach people to expect the presence of God in their lives. And that God reveals himself to those who earnestly seek after him – through his Word and his Spirit.
The goal of theological study is to help us grow and enter into the fullness and knowledge of Christ. True spiritual transformation occurs when we are awed by the beauty of Jesus. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit become more than a concept in our lives when we learn to fellowship with God’s Spirit. Jesus reveals the Father to us and the Spirit points us to Jesus. We must use our minds to focus on the fact that Jesus dwells in us by the Holy Spirit, and has made his power available to us. This relationship (if maintained) requires God’s grace, and some discipline on our part.
Spending time with God is worth the effort, but sadly many times we stop pursuing him before we have a spiritual breakthrough. It takes time in prayer and solitude to build a relationship with God, which is difficult for most of us. It also requires us to walk out our faith daily with others pursuing God.
Prayer: Father help us to turn our thoughts continually towards you. Give us a desire to spend time with You in prayer. And teach us how to fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Amen