"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scared almost to death

Thrill rides scare me more than almost anything. Well, they would if I didn’t stay as far away from them as possible. One trip to Magic Mountain, years ago, convinced me never to go back. Even watching this video of Tatsu makes my heart pump way too fast.

Even though I’m not an adrenalin junkie, the thing that scared me most about living according to a biblical worldview was that it would make life boring.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Over a decade ago, while sitting on the beach, I told my now ex-husband that I might be the world’s greatest chicken. He looked at me in utter amazement. “You are one of the greatest risk takers I know.” Until that moment, I’d never have thought it. But his comment made me aware that I do take risks—big ones.

That change probably began when I first sang the words:
“Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me
Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me”

Something changed in me the day I acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But it took several years before I began to understand the meaning of the words to that song.

In his book, Knowing God, historical and systematic theologian J. I. Packer, said that “the average Christian is in a complete fog as to what the Holy Spirit does. . . . most, perhaps do not think of the Holy Spirit at all, and have no positive ideas of any sort about what He does.

Packer described how God’s Word and God’s Spirit are parallel figures. “God’s Word [or living Voice, Jesus] is His almighty speech; God’s Spirit is His almighty breath. Both phrases convey the thought of His power in action. The speech and the breath of God appear together in the record of creation. ‘The Spirit (breath) of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said . . . and there was . . .’ (Genesis 1:2f.) ‘By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath (Spirit) of His mouth.’” 

Packer goes on to say that in Bible’s book of John, the divine Word is spoken of as “a person. Our Lord now gives parallel teaching, to the effect that the divine Spirit is also a person. And He confirms His witness to the deity of this personal Spirit by calling him the holy Spirit as later He was to speak of the holy  Father (17:11).”

All three persons—one God—one holy Creator.

In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah describes the Holy Spirit as the:
·         spirit of wisdom and understanding
·         spirit of counsel and strength
·         spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2)

Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as the:
·          Helper, who will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you
·         One who convicts the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment
·         Spirit of Truth who will guide you into all the truth (John 14-17)

When logic isn’t enough and I need strength, wisdom, knowledge, and power of action far beyond my own capabilities, the work of the Holy Spirit helps me take the necessary risks to keep moving forward despite life's chaotic circumstances.

Tomorrow’s post will show some of the ways that relationship began turning my life into more than any thrill ride could ever offer.

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