For ever. That is a long time, have you ever pondered how long for ever really is? Well by time you read this article I would have reached my half-century and I think that that is a long time, but it doesn’t even scratch the surface of for ever.
Why is Ricky boy asking us about the ‘for ever’, in this month’s edition of the magazine? Has he lost it completely? No I don’t think that I have lost the plot completely, but I get worried when I think of times that go to infinite and beyond because I then feel how small I am and how infinitely large our Creator is, remembering that he is the Creator of time as well as space. ‘For ever’ is one of these aspects.
John 14: 15-17
‘If you love me you will obey my commands, and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate, who will be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because the world neither sees nor knows him; but you know him because he dwells with you and will be in you.’
Look at line two of the Gospel reading above, I have made it easier, but using bold font to highlight the intended piece of interest.
Is Christ speaking of the Holy Ghost, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit? My answer is yes I would think so. And what does he say? For Ever. The Holy Ghost, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit will be with us for ever. Not just a hundred years or so to help the church kick start those of ‘The Way’, but to remain with those who were alive then and those who are alive today and those who will be alive tomorrow.
‘The world cannot accept him, because the world neither sees nor knows him.’ Ring any bells? Aren’t we looking at why we find it so hard sometimes to understand why others aren’t flocking to church in their hundreds, or thousands. Well looks like the first Christians also faced this dilemma. But have we gone that stage further? ‘What stage is that?’ I hear you ask. Let me explain.
The stage further that I am thinking of is that stage where we Christians also question the validity of the Holy Spirit. Some of us look with scepticism and unbelief at someone who may share with us that they have had some interface with the Holy Spirit. You know the type of thing, someone says, ‘I prayed to God about So an So’s illness and by the Grace of God they were healed. The doctors couldn’t understand it, and they had written them off.’ Some of us may humour their brash statement, because after all we are supposed to be polite. But inside we maybe saying,’ Yer, tell us another, or pull the other one it’s got bells on.’
Or we might hear someone share that they ‘Fell in the Spirit,’ and became a different person. Yer, right!
‘But you know him because he dwells with you and will be in you.’ Do we? Do we really know the ‘for ever’ gift of the Holy Spirit? But doesn’t Christ say, as stated here, that we know him because he dwells with and in us. So why are so many of us Christians so Sceptical when confronted with acts freely gifted to us from the Holy Spirit? I mean it is not a David Copperfield show we are looking at, it’s the wonderful acts of our Father who art in Heaven, expressing his love and tenderness to us through his adopted channel, that being the Holy Spirit.
So why do some of us close our minds to the wonders of the Holy Spirit, and others flatly refuse to accept its existence in today’s society at all? Is it due to our scientific advancements? Is it due to the world being shrunk to fit into a 42inch flat screen television, or broadband Internet connections? Is it due to the fact that we as a race of beings have outgrown the Holy Spirit? I‘m afraid that I do not have the answer to this, because you see for one, I do firmly believe in the Holy Spirit and accept most things that are spoken in his name. This is because I know him because he dwells with me and will be in me.
My faith tells me that I have a protector, and advocate that will look out for me. Who will use me and guide me to where God wants me to be.
So what about you? Do you still believe that there is a Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Let us pray:
Lord make our minds open that we are able to let your Holy Spirit dwell with us and in us in all that we do and all that we say this day forward. Amen.
There you go. Has Rick lost the plot? The answer to that question is entirely up to you, but remember you may need to decide before ‘For ever’ arrives. And when might that be? There’s another article for another time.
May God bless you all and keep you safe.
© Rick Hayes, July 2009