love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…
they’re all there. Installed when the Holy Ghost came in.
Why do I doubt it? This is the Spirit of Christ we’re speaking of. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. That power is in me, if I have the Holy Ghost.
So why don’t I feel it?
Because I must ‘stir up the gift,’ as Paul said to Timothy. Often. How to have access to this bottomless resource of all that is good and needful? Stir it up!
No more asking God for strength–the Joy of the Lord is my strength, and that comes with the Gift.
No more asking for patience, because longsuffering came with the package.
And no more requests submitted to God because I don’t feel like putting forth the effort. Too comfy right now…”will do that later, Lord, but while you’re around, would you add another cushion under my left foot? It’s a bit achy. Scratch the ol’ big toe while you’re down there. And how’s about a sandwich?”
Really? Has He done so much for me only for me to reject the bit of effort required to follow Him?
It’s like refusing to drive a Jaguar because turning the key in the ignition sounds like too much work.
Ok, I’ll admit it’s a bit hard to stir it up sometimes, especially when it’s been a while and the sediment on the bottom of the soul is rather thick…like trying to re-distribute the layer of oil on the top of natural peanut butter while it’s still cold from the fridge.
But that’s the deal, folks.
It’s a free gift, but it’ll cost you.
The reward is immeasurable, but elbow grease will be involved.
If you’ve seen the beauty of vinegar and baking soda at work, you understand that sometimes a little stirring is all it takes to get the reaction you need.
…hmm..chemical reaction. Should blog about that, too.
Nutshell: If you have received the Holy Ghost (which you need!), you have been grafted into that Root that draws from the everlasting well, and if you have repented and been baptized, there is no cloud of sin to obstruct the Sun from your face. You are the tree in Psalm 1. You have ‘access to the excess,’ as one of my favorite preachers once said.
You are not ill-equipped to fulfill your role in the Body of Christ! You’ve got everything you need. The treasure is there. Stir it up!
(much appreciation to Rev. Rufus Parker, whose ‘Morning Manna’ on January 19 inspired this post.)