The Spirit and the Heart - First15 - April 7, 2018

The Spirit and the Heart

Weekly Overview:

So often we view God as an enforcer of religious rules. We see the commands of Scripture as a list of to-dos rather than a path leading to abundant life. But those perceptions aren’t the truth of Scripture. Those beliefs are founded on misguided notions of God’s character. God is after the heart. More than he wants us to do right, he wants us to see him rightly. He wants going to church, reading the Bible, worshipping, serving the poor, and living righteously to come from a heart filled with a true revelation of his loving-kindness. May your heart be wholly God’s this week.

Scripture:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Devotional:    

Abundant life is given in the communion of the Spirit and the heart. It’s our hearts the Spirit speaks to. It’s our hearts he fills with love, joy, peace, and hope. It’s our hearts in which he dwells. To acknowledge the communion between the Spirit and the heart is to open ourselves to the wellspring of life abundant. And to live seeking a greater awareness of the union that was formed in us with the Spirit at salvation is to position ourselves to receive all that God longs to give us.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” Scripture tells us of a greater level of communion with God than we are right now experiencing. Scripture tells us that when Jesus died God tore the veil in two from top to bottom. Prior to Jesus’ death, God’s glory had to be contained within the temple. Now through the sacrifice of Jesus we have become the temple of God. We now have union with our Creator in the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” Romans 8:9 says, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” To say that God dwells in our hearts isn’t just a figure of speech. If you are a believer, you have been sealed and filled with the Holy Spirit. You have constant communion with God. All that’s left is to grow in your understanding of this wonderful, supernatural union you have with your heavenly Father.

The Spirit longs to reveal how near he is to you. He longs to make you more aware of his manifest presence. He longs to lead you, speak to you, fill you, satisfy you, heal you, set you free, and empower you. He longs for your heart to find freedom and security in him. He longs to be your best friend, companion, and teacher.

Take time today as you enter into guided prayer to gain a greater revelation of God’s nearness. Ask him to reveal himself to you that you might know to greater depths how unified you are with him. May your time be filled with a greater measure of God’s presence and love.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on what Scripture says about the Spirit and the heart. Reflect on the communion you already have available to you with the Holy Spirit.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” 1 Corinthians 6:17

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Romans 8:9

2. Ask the Holy Spirit for a greater revelation of his nearness. Open your heart to God and receive his presence. Take notice of how close he is to your heart.

3. Rest in the presence of God. Allow a revelation of his nearness to establish within you a new reality founded on God’s manifest presence.

Allow the Spirit to permeate everything you do today. Seek to live in constant awareness of his presence and love. You don’t have to strive to be with God. You don’t have to strive to encounter him. He is already with you. He is already in you. All that’s left is for you to simply open your heart to him moment by moment. Don’t live as if God is separate from you. Don’t talk to him or worship him as if he is distant. Rather, live in light of Scripture and experience all the abundant life he has for you in his nearness. May your life be changed by the powerful, constant, unfailing, and wholly satisfying presence of God.

"In your presence there is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11

Extended Reading: 1 Corinthians 6

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