Do you feel the sweet spirit of our Lord in your heart? Can you sing these words with a keen awareness and understanding of their meaning ‘…there’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place and I know that it’s the spirit of the Lord. There are sweet expressions on each face, and I know they feel the presence of the Lord. Sweet holy spirit, sweet heavenly dove, stay right here with us, filling us with your love…and for these blessings, we lift our hearts in love, without a doubt we’ll know that when we leave this place that we have been revived’?
Wherever we worship in that sweet spirit, it is pleasing to God. My sister’s Quaker church feels like home when I enter and worship with friends and strangers who treat me like family. How do we treat people who come worship in our home churches? Opening our doors and hearts to those God sends our way is important, even if they don’t fit our molds for model Christians. Little things in our services can impact lives.
A recent visit to Deep Friends Meeting proved this, when a church bulletin from the service prompted this story. God had plans for the message inside that bulletin. The powerful words stuck in my heart as I hope they do yours.
Cleaning out my Bible, I pulled the church bulletin and remembered the special service. Instead of trashing it, I opened the church bulletin and read thoughts for reflection. These words by Mark Galli and Todd Hunter inspired thoughts about the sermon Gaye’s pastor preached, Demystifying the Mystical-The Work of the Spirit. My heart mellowed with a stirring to share these thoughts with you.
“We pragmatic American Christians are always tempted to turn the Christian life into a program for moral improvement, when really Christ is about freeing us from anxiety about more improvement! Certainly there will be moral improvement, addictions healed, virtues strengthened-Christ is indeed transforming us. But these are not the result of our manipulating some power or program for self-improvement or social change. These come as a by-product of having relinquished the whole idea that we are in control of that change. It is God working in us, to do as he wills.”
“The Holy Spirit is the animating, energizing power for a life of cooperating with God. He brings us to life; he makes the impossible possible. His power working in us makes our lives both dynamically effective and peacefully relaxed. Working alongside the Spirit there is never a reason for us to panic, freak out, or take things into our own hands.”
I held the bulletin in my hand, His sweet spirit in my heart, and the peace of knowing Him personally swept my whole body like the gentle wind did at Gavin’s wedding. I thought of these profound words that flowed from Galli and Hunter’s hearts and Scott’s sermon. In reflection, we seldom take time to digest such words of truth. We step on the roller coaster of life that keeps us busy, burdened, and bound up. Then, we become bogged down in doctrine and doing earthly things that stifle His sweet spirit. I believe we are empowered to get out of the boat and walk on water as did Peter, when we allow His Spirit to rule and reign in our hearts. When we truly allow the Spirit of the Living God to live in us and guide us, we will not be distracted or distanced from our Lord and our loved ones. In our walk of love, we make choices every step of the journey that that have consequences. Let us not be bound by religion but become better acquainted with Jesus, enjoying life with Him leading the way. He fixes things when we allow Him to work in us. Do we trust Jesus or try to do things our way and call on Him when we make a mess? I’ve made so many messes in my life, but my Lord has always been right there to clean them up and wash me whiter than snow! There is no power or peace that gives assurance and insurance as does the Spirit of the Living God inside us.
I thanked God that I held onto the bulletin from my sister’s church. Before filing it, I read the yellow insert with words from a favorite hymn. My heart pounded as I reflected on our nation’s present predicament. During this election season, Americans are looking for leadership that will get us back on track. The Spirit of the living God falling fresh on all people can change things in our land. Restoring Christian values and living as one nation under God should be top priority for all people, especially politicians. The Spirit of the living God can fall fresh on America. Read these words or sing them; feel His sweet spirit fall fresh on you.
“Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me…melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me. Soul of heaven, heart of God, wash over me, cleanse me, teach me, hold me, reach me. Soul of heaven heart of God, wash over me. Holy presence love divine, cast out my fear. Shield me, free me, call me, lead me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.”
May the Spirit of the living God fall fresh on you. Reflect on your life. Are you ready to meet Jesus at any given moment? Do you live in the peace of His protection and promise of life in heaven? If you are stuck in ruts that bind and blind you, stop trying to get out by yourself. Put it in God’s hands. He will free you and fix all the rut holes that leave you hollow inside. His sweet spirit will fall fresh on you, filling up your heart and lighting your world with love… and life that lasts forever and ever.