by Chris Hodges
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
If there is anything I know about God and the Christian walk, it’s that God will always require the big leap from us—a step of faith. When we live by faith, we step toward something and don’t know what’s up ahead of us. We walk on God’s path and can’t see what’s around the bend. We may not like this uncertainty or lack of control, but the Bible is clear: without faith it’s impossible to please God. He rewards those who diligently and earnestly pursue him—all of him (see Hebrews 11:6).
Even when I knew I was genuinely saved and pursuing all God had for me, I remained guarded. I was sure there had to be more to the Christian life but was afraid to go there because of my preconceived notions. The first time I invited the Holy Spirit to fill me, my prayer was a mixed bag of double messages—something like this: “Holy Spirit, I want to receive you, but at the same time I don’t want to lose control. I want you to come in on my terms. I’ll receive you, but I still have some concerns about you and your ways. If you can behave yourself, then you’re welcome to come in and stay awhile.”
It sounds like a halfhearted contract with an unruly tenant instead of a commitment of love and spiritual adventure with the God of the universe. I can laugh about it now, mostly because later I became convicted about how lukewarm I was being. Like so many people, I’d let my religious prejudices taint my beliefs and color my perceptions. Finally, though, I said, “I want you and everything you have to offer—all of me for all of you.”
If I’ve learned anything in my thirty-four years of relationship with God, it’s the importance of not holding back, of going all in. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). It can’t be halfway. It can’t be someday. It can’t be just enough to get by on. It must be total, wholehearted, and beyond your control.
So what are the next steps? Open your heart to the Holy Spirit. Just like our salvation, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a free gift. Don’t let fear keep you from a real relationship with the One who is breath and who also gives you breath. All you have to do is ask and receive—and get ready for the most exciting adventure of your life.
As you finish reading this final devotion, I encourage you to still yourself for a moment and breathe deeply. Inhale and be aware of how the air fills your lungs and sends oxygen to all parts of your body. Exhale and release the breath that’s no longer needed. We need air to live. If we don’t breathe, we’ll die. Spiritually, we need the life-giving air that God wants to breathe into each of us.
Take a deep breath and let him in.