“. . . went about preaching the word.” Acts 8:4
Faith is always in danger of self-absorption. Whenever we become intrigued with matters of our soul, there is an ever-present danger that we will begin to treat God as an accessory to our personal experience. Our world becomes too small, too confined to seeking a feeling from God, rather than seeking God Himself.
Building our faith with the content of God’s word is the exercise of vigilance against smallness. Deepening our belief in God, based on how He has revealed Himself in His word while preventing ourselves from taking over the story, is the art and training into a full and mature participation in the whole story of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit has been prepared to do a special work in and through us. The Holy Spirit who lives within the believer is not only the deity who comes directly from the throne in the majesty of the Godhead, but is also the Spirit that lived in Jesus for three and a half years. The same Spirit who wept in tears, suffered in agony, spoke words of wisdom and love. He took the children into His arms, healed the sick, raised the dead. He allowed John to lean upon Him. It’s the Spirit that spoke to the disciples, “Do not let your heart be troubled.”
This is the Spirit that comes to us softened and enfleshed by His union with Jesus. So then, in receiving Jesus, we receive the heart of His Spirit into our innermost being. How gracious of the Holy Spirit to come fitted to our frailty and able to satisfy the broken places.
Our life ebbs and flows through seasons of struggle and success, failure and faith, in shouting and sorrow, in healing and loss. It’s living in high places and dry places, living in and out of things that refuse to get better. All the while, God is working and weaving all of our season into His story. Let us remember to keep a big view of God.
What does it mean to be in God’s story, but not the story?