God Grieves From Within
I've been here in St. Louis for a few days now before a North American conference begins, and I'm inspired by the meetings and classes I've attended. Discussing everything from deep theologies of the Greek Bible to inspiring charges for world evangelism, I'm certain God is moving powerfully near and far.
Uplifted though I am, I can't help but consider the Spirit's unceasing desire to move within us, his disciples. Ephesians 4:30 tells us not togrieve the Holy Spirit, a thought that, admittedly, only seldom crosses my mind. Through his great and inexplicable love for us, God sealed us with the ownership of His very own Spirit, a living and breathing person of the Triune, the force of God so unreckonable within us that Christ tells us that it's better we have Him within us than himself physically next to us! (Jn 16:7). God's Spirit within us is a transformative power that breeds a changed life and an actively fruitful lifestyle, but I fear so many of us becoming complacent, lacking the fervent zeal that responds to such a massively miraculous gift from God.
An example of a life moved by God's Spirit can be seen especially in the life of our own brother, the apostle Paul. Paul's Spirit-led life was a clear indication of his desire to please God with every moment. In what was considerably the shortest of his three missionary journeys (~1400 miles), Paul went from Antioch to Seleucia to Salamis and Paphos; then Perga, to Antioch of Pisidia, then Iconium; from Lystra and Derbe back to Lystra, then Iconium and Antioch; from Pisidia, Pamphylia, and Perga to Attalia, then Antioch, and finally Jerusalem. There he met with the Counsel of Jerusalem to determine the most sufficient way to write to all the Gentile churches to ensure they understood the message of reconciliation (see Acts 15). In Paul's second journey, he travelled ~1400 miles MORE than in his first journey, revisiting many of the churches he planted, and also visiting many new places (Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, etc.) In his third journey, he travelled another ~2700 miles through Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and Israel, visiting many churches, preaching as he went led by the Spirit. Not to mention his ~2250 mile journey to Rome and his countless other travels before he died, it was and is undeniably clear that Paul was compelled to do anything and everything possible to spread the gospel to every part of the world.
Paul is one example of a disciple truly led by and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
Is your life a testament to the Spirit inside of you? A question I ask myself: Would someone be able to tell I have the Spirit of God within me by observing the way I live my life, the way I interact with people, the way I love God?
Consider following along my series on the Holy Spirit.
Daniel C. Berk