Having the Fullness of God Reside in Us
Even though people of faith say they have the fullness of God residing right inside their mortal human bodies, many do not act as though they actually realize just how much of a fact that really is. As a Christian who has accepted Christ as your Lord you literally have in you the Holy Spirit living inside your body. He lives within all of whom have accepted Him as our ever-present Helper throughout the rest of our lives. Many tend to forget that as fact until reminded perhaps during prayer or worship time or maybe even during bible study. It is as though Christians live two separate lives rather than just one life through God. We act all holier than thou when in our services but we act in every way but holy as we are dealing with our normal day-to-day lives. I wonder why is that?
Do you suppose the Holy Spirit takes a nap when we are not thinking of God? When someone makes you angry while driving and you say or think really bad things, do you suppose God did not hear your thoughts? When your boss asks you to do something that you don’t want to do and you murmur your distaste of him or her; or when your neighbor does things that you don’t like? How about when you break the rules that you know to be wrongdoings? Do you actually forget that God is living in you? Which is it? Do we want the fullness of God living in us for the rest of our lives or do we want God to only show up when we are willing to address Him in our conscious thoughts? Perhaps we just want a part-time God and not one that lives in us full time… at all times?
I was reminded of this as my pastor was serving us communion at our church service this morning. We actually participated in consuming the bread representing the body of Christ and then we drink the wine to symbolize drinking the blood of Christ. It was a sacred time called the Holy Communion. Obviously God is consciously at the front of your mind at such a time. But just after that portion of the service is completed I wonder how long does it take to forget that you just ate of His body and drunk of His blood? About a minute… maybe, more or less? You can’t even remember it all the while you are in the same service… even lesser after you get back out into the world.
We are not alone with this amnesia because when Christ was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane to the Father He asked Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to stand watch for Him and even they fell asleep. At the time the Jewish Chief Priests and Elders were seeking to capture Him because He was a threat to their way of worshipping God. They sought to crucify Him so Jesus asked His buddies to stand guard while He prayed to the Father and guess what, they fell asleep, not just once but three times knowing that He had just asked them to stand guard for Him while He petitioned to His Heavenly Father. Matt. 25 Speaking about the fullness of God being in us, the fullness of God was literally with them walking to and forth daily and they didn’t seem to realize their close proximity to God’s fullness right with them. Today’s Christians are certainly not alone in our mindfulness and we are the ones who claim to be God’s own children. Christ chose the twelve men to be His disciples and look at them. Huh!?!?
Even as I am writing this essay and perhaps exposing more of you than is acceptable, I’m no better than most. I know that love the Lord and because of what I do as a writer I have to keep the presence of the Lord alive while I’m in my writing mode but once I come out of the writing mode and go into my normal activities I do the same things that most of us do, forget that I have the fullness of God residing in my body. Is there something wrong with us or is it just that impossible to keep His gnosis present… knowing that He lives in us? I personally have to constantly seek His forgiveness for a lot of the stuff that I do, say, or think because a lot of what I do is just downright disrespectful to the holiness of God. However, knowing God is slow to anger and quick to forgive us might add a morsel of temporary comfort, but at one point you’d think we should know better? My good Mississippi friend always says to our group, “they would do better if they knew better.” Well, James, we know better and still, we don’t do better.
I write quite often about practicing the presence of God lately because when I can think of it there is a lot of comfort knowing the Big Guy is closely around. It is like having a guardian angel around to protect you. There is no power in all of existence that can win against God. That alone should be encouraging enough to keep practicing His presence but I guess the lure of the flesh is equally as enticing? But, as Brother Lawrence wrote in his little book, Practicing the Presence, the more you keep God’s presence near you the better you are positioned to receive His blessings and protection.
While speaking with my 92+-year-old mom this morning our conversation was leaning towards just how magnificent God really is. I think it is because it is beyond describable or even believable that we cannot totally grasp His fullness. That would be like taking a one-gallon jug container and trying to fit one million gallons of substance in it. Similarly trying to fit the fullness of God into our minds is equally as impossible. There is not enough mind space in there to fit the Creator of the universe no matter how brilliant you might be. The complexity of one single thing that God created is so beyond belief that it would take books to write down how it works. Take a tiny fruit fly and describe all its working parts and even the notion of how it flies or sees, or taste, or smell, or know how to get nectar and turn it into something useful. That would be one of the tiniest of all creatures but then try describing a whale or an elephant? Just one thing that God created would literally blow our minds and to think He created all things on earth and in the heavens… WOW!!!!!
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.”
Psalms 19: 1–3
This passage in Psalms 19 continues with more but just these few verses give you a hint of what King David acknowledged about the fullness of God. It is not even something that you can reduce to mere words. Yet, all of what He is resides in those that He calls His precious children. I just want to be included even if only as a stepchild…
One day when you have the time find an empty quiet space, preferably outside, either day or night, and sit quietly for a while until it hits you the works of God’s hands. It might take you a minute to get the mind to slow down but once you get there God will show you something special just to let you know He is there. Remember, the fullness of God resides in those who have accepted His Son as their Lord and Savior. Christ likes to refer to them as His friends rather than loyal servants. Knowing that His Holy Spirit resides in us, perhaps we might want to clean up our act just a tad bit? Selah!