Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Our office printer decided, the other day, not to cooperate. I wrestled with it for hours and finally realized that it was my fault after all. I'd started replacing a cable by pulling the old one off, but had gotten distracted and not put the new one on; that meant the printer was no longer connected to the computer. About thirty seconds after I put the new cable in, the printer started cooperating.

As often happens, that got me started thinking about spiritual things. It's a central part of my thinking that God has saved us from spiritual death through the free gift of life given us by Jesus Christ ("while we were still sinners, Christ died for us", Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ says that we are 'in him' (John 14:20) and that means we are secure. Nobody can take us out of his hands (John 10:28-29).

The next human thought can sometimes be, "Okay, now all I do is coast and enjoy life!" Well, not quite. If we want to enjoy life, we need to stay 'plugged into' the source of life -- kind of like the printer has to stay connected to the computer to be of any use. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:30, "Don't grieve God's Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption." He says also in Romans 8:15, "...but you received the spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out 'Abba, Father'." And in verse 26, "In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings."

The Holy Spirit, who lives in us, is the one who actually initiates our prayers and our contact with God. He's the one who reminds us that we are the children of the Father. He makes up for our human inability to see God's perfect will in our prayers, by communicating perfectly with the Father for us; and in turn, reminds us of the Father's perfect will for our moment-by-moment actions and words. (For you computer geeks, think 'bi-directional printer communication' as a loose analogy.)

So as we continue on in this new life in Christ -- whether it's six weeks new or sixty years new -- we are at our best when we stay fully plugged into the mind of the Spirit at every step. Have you felt the tug of the Holy Spirit to pray, or to stop and talk with someone, or send a card or a phone call of encouragement, or do something generous? That's being 'plugged in' with God. Do you sometimes ignore that tug due to being 'busy'? That's when the cable falls out, and when it's time to plug it back in.

Stay connected, my brothers and sisters!

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