In recent weeks we’ve been studying and discussing the Holy Spirit and us as vessels. As you know, in previous posts we have looked at cleaning our cups and the right and wrong way to go about it. For more on that read: “R U a Sanctuary?” In our discussion, we got into “want.” “I really want God.” “I want to be better.” I want to be a ‘vessel’ for God,” and others like that. What Christian hasn’t said something similar? And in all fairness, most of the time we are sincere. But as our study is on the “vessel” and the “Spirit,” we dug a little deeper.
Can we “want” God enough to accept the invitation Christ represents but not want Him enough to be filled with Him fully? This was our question. But to answer this question requires brutal honesty with ourselves and each other.
First, we all agreed that as pure light, God the Father, Christ, or the Holy Spirit cannot co-exist with darkness. As perfectly clean, God cannot mingle with any dirt in any measure. With this Truth in hand we proceeded to look into our vessels. While we had entered into a relationship with “The Three,” were our vessels clean, free of all dirt, so that the Holy Spirit could enter? Were we truly not just willing but desiring and committed to handing our vessels over to God?
So, we got our lights out and began to look deep into our vessels. OK, so I “want” God. Do I want Him “more” than I want a nice car? …We started out easy. Once we got through those we hit things like: What do we “want more?” God or our spouse? What do we “want more?” God or our children? What do we “want more?” God or position in the world? What do we “want more?” God or self-pity? What do we “want more?” God or the love of those around us? What do we “want more?” God or control? At this point I’m sure a lot of people will start to defend. Some of these are not bad, they are not dirt. The Bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t want children. True, but it does say anything you put before God is bad; in fact, it’s one of the big ten (Exodus 20:3). Or, ever heard of Mt. Moriah? (Genesis 22:1-19) Meaning, anything or anyone we “want more” than we want God is a problem. The thing itself is not inherently bad, but our desire or our wanting it more than God is.
As I said a minute ago, cleaning our vessels requires brutal honesty. When cornered and asked, as a Christian, would you give up your spouse for God? Most would say yes, but secretly, where even we don’t often look, we would know… I couldn’t do that… You say I’m wrong? You don’t have that secret place? Really? Peter did, even after walking on water and seeing first hand all that Christ did. He was sure, when asked, he would not deny Christ. But when the time came to show what he wanted more, that secret place he denied revealed itself (Mark 14:66-72). So, take a minute. If the government came to your door right now and said: If you believe in the God of Christ, if you are a Christian, we are going to take your children and you will never see them again. What would you say?
Can you stop being a martyr for God? This is one of the questions we had, and a lot of Christians don’t even look at. They live their lives in self-pity and justify it by calling it humility and repentance. Every day they get up and say, “I want God, but I’m just too horrible to pull it off.” “I really do want you God, but I just suck.” “My vessel’s just full of crud Lord, and I just can’t get it out.” What do they want more? The full presence of God, or to wallow, telling themselves all they want is God, but…? If you are one of these people, do you want God enough to Trust More than you doubt? Do you Trust that you are the divine creation of God and that, as such, through God there is nothing that can defeat you? Do you Trust that when Christ said, “with the Faith of a mustard seed,” He meant there is nothing in our vessels that cannot be cleaned? Read “Alignment, Faith and Authority.” Did I just say we are not required to or should not repent? No. What I said is we should accept the forgiveness that comes with sincere repentance and move on, or “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Don’t be addicted to the process and let it become a barrier between you and God. Want God more.
If you read the post I just mentioned, then you know I am not making the case for a vow of poverty or seclusion. God wants us to be happy. He’s fine with our driving a Cadillac or having a dozen kids. What He requires, is that we “have no other gods before (Him) Me.” And anything we want more than Him, or would not sacrifice for Him, is an idol or “other god.” Now, as our study was about becoming a clean vessel to which the Holy Spirit can enter, we should look a little closer at that. Anyone who would say that at the moment they became converted or saved their vessel was cleaned and the Spirit just walked right in is not being honest at all. Yes, at that moment our past sins are forgiven, but, as stated above, we are then instructed to “sin no more.” I’ve met some great people of God, but I’ve not met one who, on the day they were saved, would willingly and happily walk away from everyone and everything they held dear just before. Yes, at that moment we enter into a relationship or a contract with God, but, as we discussed in “Faith Is,” we must mature in that relationship, we must fulfill our side of the contract. As we’ve discussed before, we must be “purified by Truth.” Then we must show Faith by “walking in that Truth.”
So, these are our thoughts. When we are saved we enter into a relationship with God. In honor of that relationship, God works with us through the light of the Holy Spirit to identify what’s important to us and clean our vessels of all that we want more than God. This does not always mean removing the thing, but being willing to, which means putting its importance below God. And, if we are willing to be brutally honest and look in all those secret places for the truths even we ourselves deny, then our relationships with God will mature, our vessels will become clean and free of darkness, and the presence of the Holy Spirit can enter and inhabit our vessels. In the end it all boils down to Just a Thought: Don’t just Want God, Want Him More than you Want anything else! When you get there, your vessel will be truly clean and the Holy Spirit will be happy to fill it.
© 2/12/2018 Scott A Caughel