Hello, Fresh!

February 12, 2018

 

Recently, a radio ad featured the conveniences and wonders of a service that offers delivered-to-your-door healthy and tasty meals.  Sounds great, and I’m sure it is.  I mean, who wouldn’t want an easy-to-prepare, nutritious meal sent straight to your door, rather than four-day old leftovers or cold cereal from a box?  And the whole point was that the promised fare would be good for you and fresh, not the processed and preservative-ridden eats we sometimes settle for while running from commitment to commitment and trying to keep up with life.  

 

That brief ad, as inviting as it sounded in the natural sense, served as a reminder that we also need a fresh touch in our spiritual beings.  Specifically, we need a fresh touch and move of the Holy Spirit—in our lives, our families, our community, and our churches.  Now more than ever do we need the power of the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses of our Savior, and to accomplish kingdom purposes.  

We need a fresh touch and move of the Holy Spirit—in our lives, our families, our community, and our churches

So what is it that keeps us from receiving that fresh touch?  Is it that God spiritually refreshes us only at His whim or if we are especially deserving?  The Word of God shows us that that clearly isn’t the case.  What then keeps us from a fresh touch of His Spirit to empower our lives in every way?  There might be different ways to answer this, but let me suggest a couple of things that keep us from experiencing God’s presence in our lives in a powerful way.  First, we don’t ask for it.  And second, we maintain lifestyles that minimize the desire (or our perceived need) for His presence.  

 

Many of us followers of Christ don’t experience a fresh touch of His presence on a daily basis because we just don’t think to ask Him for it or because we don’t feel worthy to receive it.  We should ask for a fresh move of God’s Spirit in our lives, however, because it empowers us to be stronger witnesses for Christ (Acts 1:8), strengthens us in our “inner man” (Eph. 3:16), helps us walk in “all joy and peace” (Rom. 15:13), helps us in our weaknesses and our prayer life (Rom. 8:26-27), and helps us and teaches us (John 14:26), among other things.  These and other benefits of the Holy Spirit in our lives are available to us—if we just ask.  Jesus said, “‘If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!’”  (Luke 11:11-13 (NKJV) (emphasis added))  Thus, it is a guarantee from the Father Himself that we will receive His Spirit if we just ask Him!  He wants us to have a fresh touch of His Spirit in us each day.  

 

The second thing that keeps us from a renewing touch of God’s presence is the absence within us of the desire for it.  When it is so easy to receive the Holy Spirit into our lives to move as He desires, and when we think of the benefits of His presence, why don’t we want it more?  Let’s face it, we just don’t sometimes.  We have other things—even blessings—in our lives that can dull our spiritual sense of hunger.  Busy schedules, work ambitions, educational goals, relationships, and every amusement under the sun are among those things that vie for our attention each and every day.  We might ask ourselves, “How important is it that I receive a daily touch of God’s Spirit in my life?” and “How do my priorities and schedule reflect the answer to the first question?”  

 

Our Father says, “taste and see” that He is good (Ps. 34:8), and to “delight yourself also in the Lord” (Ps. 37:4) (emphasis added).  Based on His Word, His plan for us is to live daily in His presence, even as we walk through this life.  We can only do that by making a daily, conscious choice to be with Him.  And sometimes that choice necessarily means sacrificing other time-consumers and attention-consumers in our lives.  

 

One last thought.  It is easy sometimes to think of our daily walk with God as a purely personal or individual matter.  We think it is all about “God and me.”  In fact, it is not.  Circling back to the first scripture cited above, Jesus Himself told us that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit came. Power for what? To be witnesses, in all the world.  (Acts 1:8)  Thus, the vitality of our walk with God is not only about us.  To the contrary, it is God’s plan that we impact the world around us for His glory.  We are to be salt and light wherever we live.  (Matt. 5:13-16)  We are to change the atmosphere around us, and we are to enlarge His kingdom.  Being empowered on a daily basis by the Holy Spirit is an essential part of how we do that.  

 

If it’s been a while since you’ve experienced a fresh touch of God’s presence in your life, it’s easy to change.  Ask Him!  And decide to order the priorities in your life in a way that invites God into your thoughts and heart.  His Word makes it clear that He will answer that prayer every time.  Indeed, this world is depending on it.  Hello, fresh!

 

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