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Power For Living, Ephesians 1:19

Buddy resting after a long trip.

Buddy and I recently drove down HWY101 on our return trip to Arizona. We stopped for a few nights at Seaside, Oregon and then for a night at Gold Beach, Oregon so that Buddy would have some ocean beach time before returning to the desert. The entire trip lasted 6 nights as I avoided I-5.* Apparently, fussing for several days in the car and attempting multiple times to get onto my lap exhausted the little guy; he ran out of energy.

Like many Americans, I celebrated the successful launch of the SpaceX spacecraft, Dragon. Pastor Ben Davis of Hope Fellowship, Maple Valley, Washington compared the rocket that sent the two crew members to the International Space Station to the Holy Spirit: Just as it took a massive amount of power to transport astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into outer space, so there exists a mighty force to empower the body and soul of the human race.

One of the most vital components of being a Christian was totally unknown to me as an ubeliever: that a person becomes born again when the Holy Spirit indwells their inner being. No one had ever told me what being born again meant, not even the Christians who had tried to convert me. So it was a total shock when the Holy Spirit entered into me after I’d given my life to Christ via a volunteer phone counselor during a Billy Graham Crusade TV program.

God created people to be triune beings: body, soul and His Spirit. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s authority, wanting to be their own gods and decide for themselves what was good and evil (Genesis 3:5-6), God’s Spirit left them. Therefore, all of their offspring–the human race–was, and is, born devoid of God’s presence within their inner being.

There is great power available to transform a person’s life, but they are usually unaware of it.

As I was.

Therefore, the problem with humanity is not that we sin, but that we are sinners.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”–Apostle Paul, Romans 3:23

We are sinners because the human race is separated from God Almighty, who is the source of all life. He created us, gives us a soul and a personality. But we have no spiritual power because we are incomplete, devoid of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that at some point in their lives, every person becomes aware of this inner emptiness, but most try to ignore it or don’t understand why it exists and just limp along, living with the awareness that something is wrong in their soul.

Or attempt to quiet the distress of their souls through “enlightenment” or politics or other compulsive behaviors.

The true cure for this inner emptiness is a relationship with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One through Whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16) and Who is our life (Colossians 3:4).

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know…the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”–Apostle Paul, Colossians 1:19

With the help of God, my energy level is improving, despite some chronic health issues. When I choose to forgive, I can literally feel a heavy weight lift off of my mind and soul. Loving, grateful and kind thoughts are slowly pushing out the bitter, selfish and unkind thoughts that once characterized most of my thinking.

Letting go of these heavy anchors of sinful thoughts…

My soul feels lighter!

And like a Dragon, I can soar toward the heavens!

***

Do you want to experience the power of Christ in your life? Please pray this simple prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I’ve done things that grieve you because I’m spiritually dead. I want to repent of my sinful, unloving and selfish behavior, and invite you to be my Lord and Savior. I believe that Jesus died for my sins, taking the punishment I deserve for my wrongdoing, because you love me and want me to spend eternity with You. You don’t want me to suffer the consequences of dying for my own sins, separated from You, the source of all life and power. Jesus rose bodily from the dead, conquering death and proving that He is God. I humbly ask the Holy Spirit to come into my life and make me a new Creation. Thank you in Jesus’ great name. Amen

Please start reading the Bible daily. Before you begin to read, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into understanding what you are reading and how to apply it to your life. And, if possible, please attend a church or Bible Study where the people truly believe in the Bible. It is much easier to withstand the pull of our ungodly culture when you are not walking alone. If COVID19 is preventing you from going to a church, there are great ministries on YouTube, the TV or radio. I highly recommend Dr Charles Stanley’s ministry at In Touch (www.InTouch.org).

*Sorry to state this but the landscape in Nevada was generally pretty boring. I recommend a different path heading South. It appeared to me that God dumped the rubble from digging out the Grand Canyon into the Nevada desert. (Don’t take me too literally! I’m being a little facetious here!)

What Born Again Means? John 3:3

Buddy was an unexpectedly wonderful addition to my life. I had wanted to rescue a Silky terrier but hadn’t planned on doing so that particular weekend. After dropping off my family at a Seattle pier for a cruise, I returned home to check my email on my IPad when I accidentally hit the Silky Terrier Rescue bookmark and up popped a photo of Buddy, the first time I’d seen a dog from Washington State available for adoption in more than a year. A few days later Buddy became a part of my life.

Just as I’ve never regretted Buddy entering my life, neither have I regretted becoming born again March 7th, 31 years ago. I hadn’t planned on making a major life change that night when I flipped on the Billy Graham Crusade show on local TV. And being raised in a non-Christian religion, I knew nothing about Who the Holy Spirit truly was. Jesus had admonished Nicodemus, a Pharisee and “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1) that:

“Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

I felt like something was missing in my life, within my spirit, so I called the number on the TV screen and spoke with one of the crusade’s counselors. I gave my life to the Lord Jesus. About an hour or so later, when reading the Bible and praying, something totally unanticipated and astonishing happened: a spirit swooshed into my body at about where my ribs meet my abdomen.

I was absolutely frightened because no Christian had ever told me what being born again meant: The Holy Spirit comes into your spirit and you become whole, fully human again. Fortunately the Lord revealed to me Who He was and then I felt totally consumed by a love that was beyond comprehension or human expression. (In a later blog I’ll reveal what He said that night.)

You see, we are meant to be triune brings like God: soul, body and Spirit. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they were rejecting the Holy Spirit’s guidance so the Holy Spirit left them. As a result, every one of their descendants–the human race–born into this world is incomplete: body and soul only.

When we accept the Lord as our Savior, we are repenting of living life our own way by our own rules and telling God that we want Him to rule our lives. We are inviting His Spirit back into our life, making us wholly human again, reversing the curse Adam placed on every person subsequently born after his rejection of God’s authority.

Everyone senses that they are incomplete but do not understand why, so they try to fill that emptiness with things that never satisfy: food, alcohol, sex, drugs, shopping for things, gambling, etc. It’s my opinion that most addictions occur because nothing but God can fill this emptiness, although a person keeps trying and trying.

Christians often preach half a gospel: to repent and accept Jesus as Savior. But we repent to become vessels fit to receive God’s Spirit–completeness–the Life of Christ. God offers you “abundant life” (John 10:10) through the Holy Spirit.

Why not ask Him to be your Lord now and become whole.

***

For some reason neither of my computers were functioning to permit me to post this blog. I’m on my cellphone so please excuse any typos.

PS. Not all Christians have a dramatic born again experience like I did. Many slowly come to an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their spirit. But the dramatic experience explains why some Christians are so excited when first converted, because it’s an amazing thing to know that God is real and not just a myth or fairy tale.