Tuesday, June 12, 2012

thanking Him for staying

I've been wanting to write for a while, but I didn't know the subject. Sure, I'll write about our trip to Disney World, but that's not what I'm talking about. I wanted to write something with meaning- something that had a point.

This summer is the first summer for me in 7 years to not be working. Even still, before those 7 years, youth group activities took up every week in my summer. So what am I to do? I thought it would be really good to dig into the Bible and do a study that might just change my life. I'm doing Beth Moore's study on the fruits of the spirit. It's called "Living Beyond Yourself". So far, I'm really really enjoying it.

Today's study, changed my life. I mean that in every way it could possibly be interpreted. I wasn't expecting it, and it didn't even happen through a main point in the study. Let me explain.

In Day 2 of Week 2, Beth talks about the ministries of the spirit. One of the Holy Spirit's ministries is "His glorious indwelling".  She refers to Psalm 51:10-12 (Written by David after his affair with Bathsheba):

"Create in me pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast sprit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me."

Back before the Day of Pentecost, God's spirit wasn't in all of his children. Beth actually writes that less than 100 people were recorded in the Old Testament to have had encounters with the Holy Spirit. But John 14:16 tells us God has sent us a counselor to live with us forever. Romans 8:38-39 tells us that nothing will be able to separate God's children from His love that is in Christ.

The above verse from Psalm 51 is the inspiration for a song I grew up singing all the time. The words, "cast me not away from your presence oh Lord, and take not your Holy Spirit from me" spoke to me. In a way that made me think that even though I had been saved, I still had to continually ask for God's presence in my life. At times when I was drowning in self absorption and not spending enough time praying to God, and worshiping Him, I thought that I was distancing myself from God. I thought that I was growing apart from God. I would return to God with that song, asking Him to come back to me, like He had actually gone away.

The fact of the matter is, God didn't go anywhere. I don't have to ask God to keep His Spirit with me, because God has promised me that the Spirit would be with me forever. When I feel like I can't feel the Spirit, it's really because I'm just ignoring it. Once I accepted God's amazing gift of grace and salvation in my heart, God was there. Most importantly, He is here to stay.

Because of Christ's death, I will always be able to be in God's presence. God won't leave me, and He won't remove His Spirit from me. I don't have to ask Him to stay. Instead, I can thank Him for staying. 

That my friends, has changed my life.