The Flame of the Spirit

In many Christian circles, the mention of the Holy Spirit brings fear of extremes. His name has unfortunately become associated with scandal and excess, with some religious teachers trying to invoke His power without love, without His presence in their hearts. Recently I’ve been reading The Divine Conquest by A.W. Tozer, a book that has caused me to slow down in some ways, take a look at the presence of the Holy Spirit my life and ask myself some tough questions–do I believe He IS present in my life? do I stifle Him in any way? do I associate Him unfairly with people who have misused His name? what is He really like? do I turn to Him as readily as I may pray to God the Father or Jesus Christ, or do I marginalize Him?

The Bible says that He’s a comforter, a source of power, an advocate for me in my process of growth toward holiness. So many times I feel like my faith is feeble, like power is a rare gift for a privileged few saints, but I’m still reaching out. Maybe this is my love-letter to the Holy Spirit:

I want to know you more–when I see You, what I see is sweet and amazing and soul-shaking; I’m moved by your descent upon the first Christians in flames of fire, showing that God’s presence had gone from living among men to living within them. I desire to treasure your presence within me. I’m seeing clearly how You’ve been misjudged, how I’ve sidelined you at times, and I’m sorry. Please, please teach me Yourself, soften me and awaken my spirit in whatever way is necessary. Fill me with enthusiasm tempered with truth. I love You.

Note: Enthusiasm (root – en-theos = in God) An enthusiast is a person inspired by God. Inspiration (Greek – Theopneustos = literally God-breathed). Further, when the early Christians saw someone convert to Christianity there was this overwhelming joy that followed the gift of salvation. But they had a problem; there was no word to describe this feeling, so they combined the two words (in God) creating the word (entheos) from which we get the English word Enthusiasm.

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