Just finished watching Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it sparked some thoughts for this week’s reflection.
Anyone who is even the slightest sports fan has to admit one thing: When you watch sports, you can easily come to identify with the team you’re supporting. We’ve all done it. It’s like when they win, we win. When they lose, we feel a sense of loss.
We love following something “outside of us” or “bigger than us,” that we can associate with, even from a distance.
Dr. Fel wrapped up his series The Force: The Spirit in You this past Sunday, and if I could encapsulate the subject of The Holy Spirit into one thought it would be this:
There’s something bigger going on.
For someone like me who’s grown up in and around church for decades, who could talk as religiously literate or act the part as best as anyone I know…I have come to realize that when God, by way of His Holy Spirit, is welcome in a place–“Christianese” isn’t needed. God can talk all by Himself. Why?
Simply put, because there’s something bigger going on.
There was a point in my spiritual journey not long ago where I got pretty comfortable with my surroundings. Like I said, I’d been in “the game”– the “church/ministry/Jesus” game for a bit, and I knew how to play it. I wasn’t insincere or purposefully irreverent, I was just familiar. And when one gets to a certain place of familiarity with something, they can tend to lose sight of the value it possesses.
They can lose awe and wonder.
Long story short, I met my wife, who knew God in a very awe-fully-wonderful way, and her relationship with Him soon motivated me to lose my familiarity; lose my religion, let God sweep the rug out from under my low, small view of Him—and realize that he’s actually better than I thought.
He loved me—as I was. He was able to be trusted—even outside of Sundays and Wednesdays, because he truly did love me.
God’s purpose for me was so much higher than I imagined. And it began with His love for me.
Look at the Apostle Paul’s prayer about how the Holy Spirit communicates God’s love:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge… (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)
God’s purpose for you is so much higher than where you’re living right now.
And it begins with His love for you.
Your story may not look like mine. But I would dare to say that you’ve heard this statement before:
“My life will never be of greater use. This is it.”
We often think this because of unhealthy decisions we’ve made or because of painful things that have been done to us.
This is why God hates sin. He doesn’t only hate it because he’s holy, but he also hates it because it harms you. It hinders fellowship with you that he’s wanted all along. God has always been motivated by love.
Maybe God has never been presented to you in this way; as someone who’s able to be trusted. Well just like you have a good Father in God, you have a spiritual enemy who wants to keep you from this reality, while keeping you locked in the idea that because of what you’ve done, or because of what’s been done to you, this is it.
But this isn’t it. The real, non-religious, life-liberating truth is that when you receive Christ’s saving work on the cross, you also get every single thing that you need for your life, spiritual and physical (2 Peter 1:3.) When you choose to believe that His purpose for you is higher than you, he will meet you and take you higher than you ever imagined.
My wife puts it like this. When God chose you, he made an “informed decision” about you. He knew what he was getting into. Because of the fallen world we live in, painful things have happened to all of us. But God has made a way to rewrite and redeem your story, in Christ.
And as much as you think you will need to sacrifice to give Jesus a new kind of chance in your life, He will always give you more than you thought possible. There is absolutely something bigger going on.
What about you?
Do you feel as though your life will never be more than it is right now? Is your pain keeping you from this higher place in Jesus? What if He is better than you imagined?
Let this be your prayer today:
God, I want to know that your purpose for my life is higher than where I am at right now. Holy Spirit, reveal this to me. I choose to believe that there’s something higher for me, personally. Thank you for taking my choice to trust you- and giving me even more in return. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen
Resources used: Author, Ashley Hearod blog: Hitchhiker’s Guide to Eternity