By Matthew Mashburn, CBM National Intern –
There’s this phrase I’ve been seeing in the book of Ephesians, which teaches, “Don’t give an opportunity to the devil.” When I first read it, I instantly and wholeheartedly agreed. Why would I ever want to give evil an opportunity in my life? I certainly do not want to do that. There weren’t any conflicts in my heart about this phrase. I’m constantly finding new ways to apply it and, one day, I’m sure I’ll use it to counsel someone else. But reading this phrase sparked something else in me — a question that the letter penned by Paul didn’t specifically ask but, I believe, the Holy Spirit of God did. Maybe I was okay with not giving evil opportunities in my life but how many opportunities was I giving the Holy Spirit to work in my life?
Many times I’ve heard confused peers talk about the Holy Spirit. Rarely do our ideas of who He is and what He does line up with what the Scriptures say He is and does. One thing I know for sure, however, is that He is a comforter. The Comforter, actually. Yet, if I were to look at my life, would I be able to confidently say that I know Him as a Comforter? As a Counselor, even? Would I be able to genuinely claim that the Holy Spirit is my Comforter? I think, no, I wouldn’t be able to say that. But why? Sick people need doctors, healthy people do not. Hungry people need food, satisfied people do not. Desperate and vulnerable people need a comforter, comfortable people do not.
To quote Francis Chan, “Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?” He asks a good question and one that I came face to face with. I think that I got so caught up in not giving into evil that I neglected making myself desperate for the power of God. I got comfortable all by myself. It had not been important to me to be dependent on anyone but myself, so my finances and my provisions all went toward myself. I cared little about what Jesus said regarding how God provides for his children. All I became focused on was preserving my own life. Thankfully, self-preservation isn’t the example that Jesus set. Thankfully, He led a life of self-sacrifice. And, also thankfully, he gave me this opportunity to see things differently.
So, when God has commanded that we give — give. When God has commanded that we lay down our own lives and follow him — follow him. It’s not comfortable at all. It strips me of all the comfort I had been building for myself. But, if you want to see God work in your life, let him work in your life. Self-preservation is not a part of the Christian faith. So, I’m challenging you to become uncomfortable and see the power of God in your life. Don’t forget to be thankful for how great a Comforter we’ve been given.
Edited by CBM National
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