Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Couch or the Pew



And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:7-8

I discovered something yesterday while cleaning up my hermit crab cage.  I have a device that I plug one of the tank heating mats into which allows the mat to be controlled by the temperature in the crabitat.  When the temperature drops below a preset level, the mat is given power by the device to reheat the crabitat.  They require it to be around 78 degrees to be comfortable that they roam around the tank. 
I’d noticed they were not roaming around as much as usual, so I tested the heating control device.  What I found was that it was off by 5 degrees.  So if I set it for 78, it had to reach a chilly 73 in the tank for the heating mat to be given power.  In effect, the mat became an “emergency” source of heat, rather than one to keep them comfortable.

I know any of you reading this are wondering where I’m going with this in light of the verse in Acts 1 where Christ told his disciples they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.  Well, it’s a reflection of how we use that power.

Think about the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is God in the Spirit.  What do you think the Holy Spirit is capable of doing?  Frankly, I don’t see a limit to the power He has!  But I believe we call upon the Holy Spirit within us more on an emergency basis, when life grows cold and cruel, than when we are warm and comfortable.  Is there any wonder that God brings pain to our lives when we have to be brought closer to Him through painful times?
Life can either be a race to be won, or a war to be fought. We’ve been given “abundant life” (John 10:10) through the Holy Spirit.  We’ve been given power and authority (Luke 10:18-20).  But through our own selfish will, our own desire to be complacent and cold, we have failed to use His power in our lives.  We prefer the couch to the pew.  We prefer, like hermit crabs, to dig into our cozy little cave rather than seek out the all-consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).

I would like to be (future tense) the kind of Christian that would call upon the power of Heaven through the Holy Spirit in me and change the lives of those who fight the war into those who cheerfully run the race.  I would like to know without doubt that my Father God would be excited about how this daughter walks in faith without doubting, rises up against evil, and casts down every idol in her life.  The only thing stopping me is me.

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