Many years ago I stood on the northern shores of Maui watching those gigantic waves roar in. They sounded like a freight train and were so magnificent that I was as excited, jumping up and down with expressions of delight much like a child.
Then it was ruined. I was with others who gave more attention to my delight than joining me by being excited over the waves. I felt like a little kid who had been twirling to music without any thought of herself and someone said, “Oh isn’t she cute” making me totally self-conscious.
This is the nearest I can come to describing what God has for His people when He fills us with His Spirit. Life becomes a delightful experience without that sense of self, or of being looked at, examined, put in the limelight. It is a freedom that turns my eyes away from me and upward toward the awesome wonder of my God.
How does this happen? Tozer quotes Dr. Simpson: “Being filled with the Spirit is as easy as breathing; you can simply breathe out and breathe in.”
It may not be that easy (see yesterday’s post) as God does require a little more from me than breathing. One of those requirements is in this passage . . .
“And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.” (2 Chronicles 15:12–15)
The Spirit does not fill a half-hearted desire for God. He might do it now and then for His purposes, but generally, my emptiness is important to His filling. Had I stood on that beach in Maui thinking, “Look at me people, look how cute I am” instead of being totally taken up with the water and its pounding, I would not have had that childlike freedom and delight. It is the same in walking with the Lord. Any preoccupation with something else takes up space where the Spirit cannot fill.
Jesus, I realize that even being preoccupied with ‘all of the above’ can push You out, so instead of going on and on and thinking too much about this, the next thing is prayer and whatever else You want from me today. Make it clear — and keep me focused. I know that seeking You with all my heart is impossible unless grace and mercy prevail! And I need to be empty . . .