Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Your Heart is Where the House Is

Have you ever found it difficult to understand God? Jesus? Holy Spirit? Many of us (even those that don't personally know the Father and Son) probably at least know OF the two of them. Holy Spirit? Maybe not quite so much.

The current series at church has been about the Holy Spirit. You can click here for part one and continue to watch them as they're uploaded each week. Treat yourself to these videos! You'll be glad you did!

The big reason I was compelled to make this post was because of what the Holy Spirit has stirred in me (and around me) lately. There just aren't enough words, or time, to share every amazing thing that I want to share. However, I felt that this was important to put out there because of the encouragement and fresh perspective He gave me.

This experience comes from the second message in the series (the video is at the end of this post). A question was proposed for personal reflection: "Holy Spirit, what do You want to show me about Your personality?" If that question throws you off a little (and you need the notes about the personhood of the Holy Spirit), just ask and I'll forward you all the notes from the Bible app. Right now, just roll with me. ;)

First of all, when it comes to things like this, I usually end up in a sort of "blank screen" mode lol. The TV screen of my mind goes white or fuzzy...or there are those technicolor stripes with the long "beep" sound. When it comes to pondering things like this in a large group setting (and we only have a short time to be still/quiet and wait) the pressure and distractions often get in the way. However, I ended up thinking about Him being "creative" and how there's a Creativity Encounter coming up. There's recently been more exploration of encountering God through various forms of art in our church (and it's really neat!).

As I thought on that word, the first Biblical example I thought of was from the first two verses of Genesis: 
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Creation. The very first thing the Spirit of God did was "create" and it was "good." "God saw that the light was good" and He SEPARATED it from the darkness. Just reading that NOW...I feel like the big idea will sink in even deeper (so put "the light was good" in your pocket for a bit). ;)

The next thing the word "creative" sparked in me was music. You might have heard the saying, "Where words fail, music speaks." I love music; whether it's playing the piano, singing, listening to it, or watching/hearing my husband use his musical gifts. Music is powerful; whether there are lyrics or not. Lately, I've noticed just how often God brings songs to my mind in order to speak His heart to me. Originally, I didn't think a lot of it because I often expect to get words or pictures from God the way other people do. While I do sometimes get words and pictures, I've realized that my primary way of receiving from God is through very strong empathetic feelings....and music. It's taken me a while to realize that God was speaking to me through something as simple as songs popping into my head. Once it became clear to me, I really got excited about it! In fact, for both this month and last month, I've been creating playlists for myself and entitling them "HeartSpeak". It's been so thrilling to add songs each month as they come to me in various moments! I notice the theme(s) in them and those songs start attaching to the memories and experiences that I had with Him. It helps me remember what I was learning; and what He was showing me. Songs have even come to my mind for other people (even in my dreams!).

After the sermon wrapped up, we went into a time of worship. As I absorbed the music and chorus of voices all around me, I felt the Lord saying, "Do you feel that?!" My own spirit testified strongly, "YES!" Suddenly, I was thinking of a song that we weren't currently singing. There's a line that says, "let our praises fill this temple." Naturally, we think of the temple as the church; the literal and physical house of worship. However, that line took on a fresh meaning because we had just been reminded of the temple in which the Holy Spirit lives (1 Corinthians 6:19). So, the praises filling the temple aren't just worship songs sung in the house of the Lord filling up space in the building. The praises are sung from my heart; radiating out into the atmosphere of the house (body) in which the Holy Spirit has made His home. "Let my praises fill this body" in which the Holy Spirit lives! I could feel every bit of it in my temple!

I started thinking about myself as a very literal house of the Holy Spirit; thinking about the praises inside my being. The melodies were echoing off the walls in my body, mind, and heart. I thought about God's house being a "house of prayer" (Isaiah 56:7). I'M a house of prayer; praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)!
This definitely makes me want to honor and respect "my house" a lot more. Think about it! There are a lot of things that people won't say or do in a church building. Why? Because it's a sacred, holy place. We don't want to dishonor or defile it in any way. We have reverence and respect for "the Lord's House." We care for it, maintain it, clean it, beautify it, fellowship, praise, pray, love, and serve in it. Now,... think of YOURSELF as "the Holy Spirit's house". If you're a believer, He lives in you. You are His house and dwelling place; His permanent address. He NEVER leaves. He is always "home"; always "Right Here" (one of my HeartSpeak songs!). As Kent said, "He's a homebody." ;) The lights are always on; because He IS light and He is GOOD. In Him, there is no darkness (John 1:5,John 12:46,Ephesians 5:8,1 Thessalonians 5:5,1 John 1:5). He exposes the darkness; shining light onto any dark place that foolishly attempts to overcome the light. He SEPARATES us from that darkness that tries to creep in. As the song goes, "This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine...hide it under a bushel, NO!" The brighter the light, the less darkness there is! SHINE (Matthew 5:16 & 13:43)!!!
See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you. - Luke 11:35-36.

New questions: Do we see ourselves as houses of God? What does our house look like? Do we see OTHERS as houses of God too? Are we treating ourselves (and others) as sacred? I recently had a dear friend tell me that very thing! She said that I "treat others as sacred". It was one of the most beautiful and amazing things anyone has ever said to me! She saw my heart and how much I love and value people. They are precious to God; made in His image. Therefore, they are also precious to me. I will forever strive to love with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27).

That's some mind-blowing stuff isn't it? Does it seem difficult to take in and apply? Yes, for the flesh it's definitely hard (Paul talks about it in Romans 7:14-25). It's easier when we are led by (and obey) the true master of our house. Much like the movie "Inside Out", that control panel could be yielded to just about any emotion, thought, or temptation (which is why we need to take our thoughts captive). It's always a battle between the Spirit and the flesh (you). Holy Spirit is a GOOD roommate! If you want your way, He'll let you have it (but His way is always better, so we should just listen the first time). Our "ways" bring disorder to the house and breaks down those special rooms (family, friends, etc.). However, He'll always help you repair, rebuild, and restore (and seal off/demolish doors we've opened and rooms we've created that shouldn't be in our house). Mess happens. He's not mad at you; just come to Him and ask for His help! You might have let darkness in (intentionally or unintentionally), but it's not too late or too dark to be swallowed up by the Light! The Spirit always illuminates and NEVER goes out! Even if Satan got his foot in the door, Holy Spirit will kick Him out once you revoke the devil's rights to be there! 

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Take care of your house! If it's a mess, partner with the Holy Spirit and get it cleaned out! Don't worry; He's gentle. :) Find some trusted and godly believers to help you and pray with you for deliverance! Shine brightly for Christ! That light inside (that you invited in when you first believed) is always there! He'll never leave you! You are His dwelling place! If you have yet to invite the Light into your heart...don't wait another moment! Do it...and then tell me, or another trusted friend in the faith, so we can walk with you! "Home is where the heart is" but your HEART is also where the HOUSE is (for the light or for the darkness...your choice on whom you're inviting to live there!). God bless you!

Life in the Spirit - Part 2: Who is the Holy Spirit? from Vineyard Community Church on Vimeo.

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